FCC Considers Changes In Rules To Modernize Access To FM & TV Antenna Sites

The FCC issued a NPRM seeking comment on whether to eliminate or revise its current rules regarding access to FM radio and TV antenna sites. These rules prohibit the grant, or renewal, of a license for an FM or TV station if the applicant or licensee controls an antenna site that is peculiarly suitable for broadcasting in the area and does not make the site available for use by other similar licensees. See NPRM and News Release for full details.

Media Bureau Announces Symposium On “Current & Future Trends In The Broadcast, Radio And Television Industries”

On Thursday, November 21, 2019, the FCC’s Media Bureau will host a Symposium, entitled “Current and Future Trends in the Broadcast Radio and Television Industries.” The Symposium will take place in the Commission Meeting Room at the FCC’s Headquarters, located at 445 12th St, SW, Room TW-C305, Washington, DC 20554. The goal of the Symposium is to hear from industry experts and participants about the current and future trends, challenges, and opportunities facing the broadcast radio and television industries. To that end, the Bureau has assembled two panels representing a mix of large and small broadcasters, as well as various industry experts and analysts. See Public Notice for additional details including online access to the Symposium.

FCC Seeks Comments On Distributed Transmission (DTS) Television Rules

On October 3, 2019, America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) and The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) filed a Joint Petition for Rulemaking (“Petition”) asking the Commission to amend section 76.626 of the Commission’s rules relating to Distributed Transmission Systems (“DTS”), also known as single frequency networks. More specifically, the Petition asks the Commission to “amend its methodology for determining DTS service limits while preserving the current interference requirements.” The Petition states that, “[a]s they plan to roll out ATSC 3.0 deployments, many broadcasters are interested in exploring the advanced capabilities of ATSC 3.0 to facilitate the use of DTS. The Joint Petition further asserts that “ATSC 3.0 permits a simplified design for single frequency networks that makes the deployment of such networks significantly more cost effective. However, the Commission’s current DTS rules limit broadcasters’ ability to deploy additional transmitters near the edge of a station’s coverage area, hampering the deployment of such networks.” Accordingly, the Petition alleges that updating the Commission’s DTS rules to remove these limitations would enable stations to improve service throughout their coverage area (particularly near the edge of the coverage area), improve mobile reception, and improve spectrum efficiency (by reducing the need for television translators using separate channels). The Petition is available electronically through the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) under the above-referenced docket numbers, which may be accessed on the Commission’s Internet website at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/ . Please see Public Notice for full details.

LPTV And TV Translator Filing Deadline For Reimbursement Form 399 Extended to November 14, 2019.

Upon request from the LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition and the National Translator Association, and good causing being shown, the filing deadline for low power television and television translator stations for filing FCC Form 2100, Form 399 is hereby extended from 11:59 PM on October 15, 2019 to 11:59 PM on November 14, 2019. The 11:59 PM, October 15, 2019 filing deadline remains the same for FM broadcast stations.

Stations are encouraged not to wait until the end of the filing period but to file their Form 399s and attachments as soon as possible. Form 399s will be reviewed on a rolling basis upon receipt.

Additional instructions and guidance on filing Form 399 is available in the LPTV/translator/FM Reimbursement Form Procedures Public Notice and on the Commission’s website. For specific questions regarding the filing of Form 399 please contact reimburse@fcc.gov or (202) 418-2009.