April 20, 2017

FCC Regional Coordinators to support broadcasters in the repacking effort.

The Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau announce the assignment of Regional Coordinators to support broadcast television stations moving to new channel assignments in the post-incentive auction transition period. The Bureau is committed to ensuring a smooth and efficient post-auction transition. To enhance its ability to closely monitor the progress of the repack and to facilitate coordination among stations, each station that will transition to a new channel has been grouped into one of 10 geographically-based regions.

Each Regional Coordinator is listed in the Public Notice along with the list of stations in their region. 

December 5, 2017

FM Translator Filing Window For Class A & B AM Broadcasters and FM Filing Freeze

The Media Bureau (MB) and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) announced details and filing instructions for the second filing window opportunity to apply for new cross-service FM translator station construction permits. This filing window will be open to any AM station licensee that did not participate in either of the 2016 FM translator modification windows or the 2017 cross -service FM translator auction filing window, including licensees and proposed assignees of Class A and B AM broadcast stations that did not participate in a 2016 modification window. A cross-service FM translator rebroadcasts the signal of an AM broadcast station. 

The second filing window will open on January 25, 2018 and close on January 31, 2018. In the event that FM translator proposals filed during this window are determined to be mutually exclusive (MX) and such mutual exclusivity is not resolved through a future opportunity for settlement or technical amendments, the Commission will resolve those proposals through competitive bidding.  This auction has been designated as Auction 100.

In connection with this window, MB also announces that it will not accept Low Power FM and FM translator minor change construction permit applications and FM booster construction permit applications between January 18, 2018 and January 31, 2018.

November 27, 2017

FCC adopts a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking authorizing television broadcasters to use the Next Generation television transmission standard (ATSC 3.0) on a voluntary, market-driven basis.

The FCC authorizes television broadcasters to use the “Next Generation ” broadcast television (Next Gen TV) transmission standard, also called “ATSC 3.0” or “3.0 ,” on a voluntary, market-driven basis . This authorization is subject to broadcasters continuing to deliver current-generation digital television (DTV) service, using the ATSC 1.0 transmission standard, also called “ATSC 1.0 ” or “1.0,” to their viewers. ATSC 3.0 is the new TV transmission standard developed by Advanced Television Systems Committee as the world’s first Internet Protocol (IP)-based broadcast transmission platform . It merges the capabilities of over-the-air (OTA) broadcasting with the broadband viewing and information delivery methods of the Internet, using the same 6 MHz channels presently allocated for DTV service . This new TV transmission standard promises to allow broadcasters to innovate, improve service , and use their spectrum more efficiently. It also has the potential to enable broadcasters to provide consumers with a more immersive and enjoyable television viewing experience on both home and mobile screens . In addition, ATSC 3.0 will allow broadcasters to offer enhanced public safety capabilities, such as geo-targeting of emergency alerts to tailor information to particular communities and emergency alerting capable of waking up sleeping devices to warn consumers of imminent emergencies, and advanced accessibility options. With today’s action, we aim to facilitate private sector innovation and promote American leadership in the global broadcast industry.

October 25, 2017

The FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to relieve certain television broadcasters of a reporting obligation relating to ancillary or supplementary services and to update rules requiring public notice of broadcast applications.

The FCC is seeking comment on how to modernize two provisions in Part 73 of the Commission’s rules governing broadcast licensees: Section 73.624(g), which establishes certain reporting obligations relating to the provision of ancillary or supplementary services, and Section 73.3580, which sets forth requirements concerning public notice of the filing of broadcast applications. First, the FCC proposes amendments to Section 73.624(g)(2) that would relieve certain television broadcasters of the obligation to submit FCC Form 2100, Schedule G,  which is used to report information about the provision of ancillary or supplementary services.  Second, the FCC seeks comment on whether to update or repeal Section 73.3580 of the rules, which requires broadcast applicants to provide public notice of the filing of various license applications, to afford such applicants more flexibility in how they provide that notice. As part of this inquiry , the FCC seeks comment on whether to permit broadcast applicants that currently provide written notice in a local newspaper, instead to provide that notice online.

October 24, 2017

FCC Eliminates Main Studio Rule

The Federal Communications Commission has eliminated the broadcast main studio rule . The rule required stations to maintain a local or toll-free telephone number to ensure consumers have ready access to their local stations and required each AM radio, FM radio, and television broadcast station to have a main studio located in or near its local community.  Elimination of the main studio rule should produce substantial cost-saving benefits for broadcasters that can be directed towards other services that benefit consumers. It will also make it easier for broadcasters to prevent stations in small towns from going dark and to launch new stations in rural areas.

October 19, 2017

Freeze On The Filing Of Modification Applications To Be Lifted Temporarily To Permit Filing Of Applications To Expand The Contours Of Full Power And Class A Television Stations That Are Not Part Of The Post Incentive Auction Repack Process

The Media Bureau will temporarily lift a freeze imposed on the filing and processing of certain full power and Class A station applications. This action will help ensure the utility of an upcoming application filing window for secondary stations displaced by the incentive auction repacking process by reducing the likelihood that facility modifications awarded in that displacement window might shortly thereafter be displaced again by applications of priority stations.

October 17, 2017

Incentive Auction Task Force And Media Bureau Announce The Initial Reimbursement Allocation For Eligible Broadcasters and MVPDs.

The Incentive Auction Task Force and the Media Bureau (Bureau) announced the issuance of an initial allocation of the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund (Fund) in the total amount of $1 billion to begin to reimburse eligible full power and Class A broadcasters and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs ) (together, Eligible Entities ), for expenses related to the construction of station facilities on reassigned channels . The Bureau will continue to monitor closely the draw-down of Fund amounts and allocate additional amounts later in the transition period

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