Media Bureau issues public notice on use-or-lose DTV compliance

The FCC Media Bureau issued a public notice in mid-June to explain how TV broadcast licensees can show they are in compliance with the impending July 1 use-it-or-lose-it DTV deadline and the requirements for seeking an extension.

In the Second DTV Periodic Review Report and Order, the commission established deadlines for construction and operation of digital facilities to retain interference protection within their certified service areas. The July 1, 2006, use-it-or-lose-it deadline covers commercial and noncommercial DTV licensees — excluding ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC affiliates in the top 100 markets, which had a July 1, 2005, deadline. Licensees with a tentative DTV channel designation in the election process on their existing “digital channel must construct full, authorized DTV facilities.” Those receiving a tentative DTV channel designation on a channel other than their current DTV channel “must serve at least 80 percent of the number of viewers served by the 1997 facility on which their replication coverage was based.”

Those failing to satisfy the replication and maximization requirements will lose “interference protection to the unused portion of its proposed service area” as of the deadline. Such licensees also will not be allowed to carry over interference protection to their post-transition channel. Six-month extensions are available under certain circumstances.

The Media Bureau public notice outlines a number of policies regarding the July 1, 2006, interference protection deadline, including a detailed description of the circumstance by which a licensee is considered to have fulfilled the use-it-or-lose-it requirement.

For more information, visit