FCC Freezes DRT, LPTV and Class A Applications

On June 11 the FCC's Media Bureau announced "a freeze on the filing of applications for digital replacement translator (DRT) stations and displacement applications for low power television (LPTV), TV translator, and Class A television stations pursuant to sections 73.3572(a)(4) and 74.787(a)(4) of the Commission’s rules." The Media Bureau will consider waiver requests for displacement applications by LPTV and TV translator stations demonstrating that they are causing or receive "new actual" interference to or from a full power television station. However, the Media Bureau said it did not anticipate waiving the freeze for new DRT stations or Class A displacement applications.

Minor change applications and applications for digital flash cut and digital companion channels filed by existing LPTV and TV translator stations and by Class A stations will continue to be accepted for filing. The Public Notice announcing the freeze (DA 14-808) noted that the FCC recently adopted rules for the broadcast TV spectrum incentive auction and "the facilities of DRT, LPTV, and TV translator stations will not be protected during the repacking."

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.