FCC Proposes Delaying LPTV DTV Transition

Raises Issues Related to Impact of Incentive Auction Repacking

The FCC has tentatively decided to delay the Sept. 1, 2015 deadline for low-power TV stations and translator stations to make the transition to digital. It has also tentatively concluded to allow low powers and translators to share channels.

Full-powers made the DTV transition in June 2009.

In a Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released Oct. 10, the FCC also tentatively concluded it should create a "'digital-to-digital' replacement translator" service for full power stations that experience losses in their pre-auction service areas.

The FCC is also tentatively suspending the expiration dates and construction deadlines for construction permits for LPTV's and translators until it has completed a just-launched review of how to protect the stations—new and existing—after the broadcast incentive auction and repacking, which it concedes will displace a "significant number" of the stations.

Read more at B&C here.