Television operators are only too well aware of the inherent flaws in the spectrum hole used for Channel 6, which occupies 82-88 MHz, right next to the low end of the FM reserved band. Despite the fact that it is largely being abandoned, the FCC is enforcing protection requirements for the time being nonetheless.
Apparently, quite a number of noncom FM operators have been anticipating the stampede to other television channels that will be a side show to the DTV transition, and have been applying for upgrades relying on the fact that there will be no need to protect television operators on the abandoned channel any longer.
The FCC says it will flat out dismiss any application that uses the abandonment of Channel 6 as its underpinning.
But the FCC will open up the neighboring spectrum territory for upgrades in due time. “Finally, we recognize that the completion of the DTV transition will create opportunities for NCE FM stations to improve their facilities. Accordingly, by Public Notice, the Bureau will announce a future date at which it will begin accepting applications, premised on the termination of analog TV Channel 6 transmissions.”
The public notice will not be issued until sometime after 6/12/09, the current hard deadline for analog shut-off.