During last week’s Incentive Spectrum Auction webinars, the FCC released a new auction timeline which lays out in better detail than before, the targeted time frames for specific actions, rule makings, and deadlines. Here are some LPTV specifics, supplied by The LPTV Spectrum Coalition:
Q1-2015 – 90 day notice issued for qualified Class-A stations to have built their digital transmission plant completed in order to qualify. So still analog CA’s have until about the beginning of Q2-2015 to build their digital facilities out.
Q3-2014 – FCC opens proceeding to examine how to mitigate the potential impact of the Incentive Auction and the repacking process on LPTV and TV translator stations.
1H-2015 – FCC issues orders in the LPTV/TV Translator proceedings. This means we will not know everything until Jan-Jun of 2015. Coalition wanted an end of calendar 2014 for this information to be known so that LPTV businesses could plan better for 2015.
> Any channel-sharing contracts must be completed prior to the auction starting.
> In order to qualify for the LPTV repacking, stations must be built by a date to be determined before the auction starts
Mid-2015 – Auction starts and runs for X mo.’s
Late-2015 – About 6 months after auction ends, the stations which have filed construction permit applications for their new
facilities will have to complete their process. The Media Bureau will then announce a limited window for operating LPTV and TV translator stations to submit displacement applications.
2016++ – Construction permits not built before the auction will have a to-be-determined extension. This will include both the remaining Analog to Digital conversions and the unbuilt 2009 rural filing window CPs.