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FCC relieves broadcast Katrina victims

The FCC will do everything it can to help radio, television and MVPDs which found themselves in the path of Hurricane Katrina to get back up and running, and/or to get emergency information out to citizens in the stricken areas. Recognizing the essential role broadcasters play in such situations, it will expedite repairs and issuance of special temporary authority requests. It will also add additional time to the build-out deadline on CPs in the area. Click through for the list of FCC measures to benefit affected broadcasters.

The FCC's measures include the following:

* Special Temporary Authority (STA) - - Requests for STAs will be handled as expeditiously as possible.

* Emergency Antennas - - The Commission rules permits FM and TV stations to erect temporary antennas without prior authority from the FCC. Also allows AM stations to use a horizontal or vertical wire or a non-directional vertical element of a directional antenna as an emergency antenna. The Commission waives the requirement that licensees notify the Commission within 24 hours of commencement of operations employing these antennas.

* AM Nighttime Operations - - The Commission rules permits AM stations to use their full daytime facilities during nighttime hours to broadcast emergency information, provided all operation is conducted on a noncommercial basis.

* Limited and Discontinued Operations - - The Commission waives current rule on notification time period and will accept notifications within 30 days and requests to remain silent within 60 days of the discontinuance of operations.

* Tolling of Broadcast Station Construction Permit Deadlines - - Upon request, a permittee of a broadcast station located within a Federal Disaster Area will be provided an additional 90 days to complete construction.

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