The Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance last week filed a “Petition for Blanket Extension or Waiver” of construction deadlines until Sept. 1, 2015 for all permittees authorized to construct new digital LPTV stations. In its petition, the association said that the commission “has acknowledged consistently that requiring LPTV licensees to construct facilities that may be eliminated in repacking after the broadcast spectrum auction and repacking proceeding (the 'Incentive Auction Proceeding') makes no sense.”
ATBA gained support for the extension or waiver in comments filed by the National Association of Broadcasters, which stated that “broadcasters already confront significant uncertainty regarding the availability of channels for LPTV and translator stations following repacking, as well as the potential that they will be required to partially fund an involuntary relocation that provides no benefit to broadcasters or their viewers. The FCC should promptly grant the ATBA Petition to avoid compounding these challenges by requiring broadcasters to make investments in facilities that will only need to be relocated, or even abandoned, following repacking. Grant of the blanket waiver ATBA seeks, rather than action on hundreds of individual requests, will conserve resources for both the FCC and the broadcast industry.”
As noted in my earlier article, ATBA Petitions for ‘Blanket Extension’ or Waiver of New LPTV Construction Deadlines, ATBA said last month that the FCC”s Media Bureau, under the Commission's direction, has granted more than 650 six-month construction deadline extensions on a “case-by-case” basis.
For additional information, see the Comments of the National Association of Broadcasters and the ATBA Petition. The deadline for filing comments as passed, but the deadline for reply comments is August 28, 2014. For information on filing comments, see Public Notice (DA 14-996).
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