Media Bureau freezes filing of applications for channel 51

The Federal Communications Commission Media Bureau said Aug. 22 that effectively immediately the agency was freezing the filing and procession of applications for channel 51 and opening a 60-day window for amendment of applications for the channel from LPTV, TV translator and Class-A broadcasters.

The agency also announced the lifting of an existing freeze on petitions for rulemaking filed by full-power television stations wanting to relocate from channel 51 voluntarily and will begin accepting new petitions to do so.

The moves are in response to petitions filed in March by CTIA – the Wireless Association and the Rural Cellular Association urging the commission to promote wireless broadband deployment in the lower 700MHz A Block by preventing additional interference caused by TV stations operating on channel 51.

According to the public notice of the freeze, the FCC agreed with the petitioners that "in numerous other proceedings," the agency has determined that "where a change in license service rules or spectrum allocations was contemplated, it would serve the public interest to cease accepting and processing applications for operation in such spectrum."

According to the Media Bureau, freeze is temporary while the FCC considers the issues raised in the petition seeking the freeze. The freeze affects applications for new or modified facilities; however, applications to modify will be considered on case-by-case basis if the modifications serve the public interest.

The freeze imposed herein is temporary while we consider the issues raised by the petitioners and affects only the submission of applications for new or modified facilities.