Media Bureau freezes application filing for new digital LPTV, TV translator stations

The FCC Media Bureau announced Oct. 28 an immediate freeze on filing applications for new digital LPTV and TV translator stations as well as major changes to analog and digital low-power and translator facilities in rural areas.

According to an announcement from the bureau, it stopped taking the applications to give the commission time to launch a rulemaking proceeding to reallocate 120MHz of TV broadcast spectrum to wireless broadband use as called for as part of its National Broadband Plan. The move also gives the commission a chance to consider ways to repack spectrum allocated to full-power TV stations and its impact on low-power stations.

Since August 2009, the bureau has accepted applications on a first-come-first-served basis for the new digital stations and major changes to rural facilities.

The FCC will continue to accept applications permitted under its rules, such as those for flash cut and digital companion channels filed by existing LPTV stations. Additionally, the agency will continue to accept displacement applications where those applying can demonstrate actual interference from existing full-power television stations, as well as displacement applications filed by stations operating on channels 52 through 69.