With the incentive auctions and associated channel repacking impending, the FCC wants to keep the existing allotment picture just as it is. It will take special conditions and a waiver to make a meaningful change to a station’s technical parameters.
The FCC stated, “Beginning immediately, and until further notice, the Media Bureau will not accept for filing modification applications (or amendments to pending modification applications) by full power and Class A television broadcast licensees and permittees for changes to existing television service areas that would increase a full power station’s noise-limited contour or a Class A station’s protected contour in one or more directions beyond the area resulting from the station’s present parameters as represented in its authorizations (license and/or construction permit). Similarly, we will not accept Class A displacement applications that would increase the station’s protected contour. However, consistent with the Commission’s proposal in the NPRM, Class A minor change applications to implement the digital transition (flash cut and digital companion channel) may continue to be filed and will be processed subject to the current limitations in Sections 73.3572(a)(2) and 74.787(a)(2) of the Commission’s rules.”
Waivers will be granted only in special cases, “,,,such as when zoning restrictions preclude tower construction at a particular site or when unforeseen events, such as extreme weather events or other extraordinary circumstances, require relocation to a new tower site.”