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MSTV files proposal with FCC outlining steps for DTV channel election, repackaging

The Association for Maximum Service Television has submitted a five-point proposal to the Federal Communications Commission outlining the steps it says must be taken for DTV channel election and repackaging to be successful.

The proposal, filed May 6, contends that channel election and repackaging is one of the most complex issues remaining to be solved in the DTV transition because channel election must happen in a “substantially reduced ‘core’ of DTV spectrum,” according to the filing.

“In congested markets, these limitations may affect the ability of stations to protect their replicated or maximized coverage areas and thereby limit their ability to optimize service to the public,” it said.

MSTV’s five-step plan includes:

Step 1: An initial phase to clean up the commission’s DTV database to ensure that stations can make their elections based on accurate and complete information.

Step 2: A first round of elections for stations with two in-core channels, with stations with two out-of-core channels indicating a preference for three possible channels that they ultimately could use in their market.

Step 3: Issuance of provisional authorizations by the commission where possible, based on the first round of channel elections.

Step 4: A second round of elections for remaining licensees, including licensees with two out-of-core channels whose preferences were not accommodated during the first round of elections.

Step 5: Finalization of the DTV Table, taking into account general criteria and individual circumstances to resolve conflicts in channel elections.

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