Media Bureau postpones some new digital-only LPTV, TV translator licensing

The FCC this week said it was indefinitely postponing licensing for new digital-only LPTV and TV translator stations in non-rural areas.

In an announcement released June 28, the Media Bureau said the decision does not impact existing low power television, TV translator and Class A television stations, which will be permitted to begin filing license applications for digital companion channels, nor does it affect those wishing to file license applications for new digital-only LPTV and translator stations in rural areas. Both groups can begin filing their applications on July 26.

The bureau postponed the application process for digital-only LPTV and translator stations to give the commission the chance to evaluate repacking the TV broadcast band and reallocating spectrum as part of its National Broadband Plan and to launch its rulemaking proceeding, the announcement said.

Once commission broadband rulemaking proceedings have been concluded, the bureau will consider a date to re-initiate nationwide licensing of digital-only LPTV stations and TV translators, it said. Applications currently permitted under commission rules, such as digital on-channel conversion ("flash cut"), will be permitted.