In this Report and Order , the Commission updates Part 74 rules for low power television (LPTV) and TV translator services to reflect the current operating environment, including the termination of analog operations in the LPTV/translator service as of July 13, 2021.
Author: Mike Rhodes
Revised DTS Rules for Class A TV and LPTV
On January 19, 2021, the Commission released a Report and Order (R&O) in its proceeding to address technical issues that may impede the adoption of distributed transmission system (DTS) by a broadcast television station. The R&O created new DTS rules for Class A television and low power television (LPTV) stations. On April 7, 2023, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the form changes associated with the DTS rule changes for Class A television and LPTV stations.
The effective date for these changes is May 18, 2023.
See January 2021 Report and Order here.
Implementation of the Low Power Protection Act
The FCC has initiated a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to implement the Low Power Protection Act (LPPA), as enacted by Congress on January 5, 2023. The LPPA provides certain low power television (LPTV) stations with a “limited window of opportunity” to apply for primary spectrum use status as Class A television stations. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on how to implement the window consistent with Congressional direction.
Comment Date: May 15, 2023
Reply Comment Date: June 13, 2023
Media Bureau 2023 Fee Filing Guide
2023 Application Fee Filing Guide for the Media Bureau applies to the following stations:
- Commercial Television Stations
- Class A Television Stations
- TV Translators And LPTV Stations
- Commercial AM Radio Stations
- Commercial FM Radio Stations
- FM Translator Stations
- FM Booster Stations
- CARS Stations
- Cable Special Relief Petition
- Cable Community Registration
- Aeronautical Frequency Notification
- Special Temporary Authorization
Commission temporarily stays ATSC 3.0 deadline
By this order the Commission temporarily stays the March 6, 2023 sunset of the requirement
for broadcaster primary streams to comply with the ATSC A/322 standard.
In 2017, the Commission authorized television broadcasters to use the Next Gen TV transmission standard, also called “ATSC 3.0” or “3.0,” on a voluntary, market-driven basis. Under Commission rules, the requirement for broadcaster primary streams to comply with the ATSC A/322 standard, defining the waveforms that ATSC 3.0 signals may take, is currently scheduled to sunset on March 6, 2023. Last June, the FCC issued the Sunsets FNPRM seeking comment on, among other things, the expiration of this rule, whether to retain the requirement and, if so, for how long. That proceeding remains pending.
Increased FM HD Power Petition for Rulemaking
The FCC Media Bureau seeks comment on the Petition for Rulemaking filed by the National Association of Broadcasters and Xperi, Inc. (collectively Petitioners) on October 26, 2022. The Petitioners request that the Commission adopt an updated formula to determine and increase FM digital sideband power levels for stations transmitting digital FM.
Comment Date: January 12, 2023
Reply Comment Date: February 13, 2023
Effective Date set for FM Directional Antenna Computer Modeling Rules
On May 19, 2022, the Commission released the FM Broadcast Directional Antenna Performance Verification Order, in which the Commission revised its broadcast radio procedures and rules, including sections 73.316 and 73.1690 of the rules, to allow for FM and LPFM directional antenna pattern verification by computer modeling performed by the directional antenna’s manufacturer.
By this Public Notice, the Media Bureau announces that the notice of the effective date for sections 73.316 and 73.1690, as amended in the FM Broadcast Directional Antenna Performance Verification Order, was published in the Federal Register on November 10, 2022, and became effective on that date.
Comparative Consideration Order for 32 NCE MX Groups
The Commission has before it for comparative consideration 32 groups of mutually exclusive (MX) applications for new noncommercial educational (NCE) FM station construction permits. By this Memorandum Opinion and Order (Order), they perform threshold fair distribution of service analyses and use a point system to tentatively select an application for grant in each group. Petitions to deny the application of any of these tentative selectees must be filed within 30 days of the date of release of this Order.
These applications were filed in November 2021, during the most recent filing window for new NCE FM applications. These applicants have had an opportunity to enter into settlement agreements among themselves to resolve mutual exclusivity, and, in the absence of any such settlement, are now subject to a simplified, comparative process codified in Part 73, Subpart K, of the FCC rules.
Using Drones to Monitor Transmission Lines
An article by Gary Cavell in the October 2022 issue of TV Technology. Check it out!
Proposed Updates to TV & Class A Rules
The broadcast television industry has recently completed two significant transitions – the transition from analog to digital-only operations, and the post-incentive auction transition to a smaller television band with fewer channels. In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the FCC proposes and seeks comment on comprehensively deleting, updating, or otherwise revising Commission rules for full power and Class A stations that no longer have any practical effect given these historic changes. They also propose and seek comment on a restructuring of subpart E of part 73 of the Commission’s rules, which largely consists of the technical licensing, operating, and interference rules for full power television. The proposed restructuring will make the rules more streamlined and easily understandable for our licensees and the public.
Comment and Reply Comment dates will be announced after publication in the Federal Register.