There as yet has been no official determination on the fate of LPTV stations as the FCC steers a course toward holding incentive spectrum auctions, but some of them are quite likely to be put on the endangered species list. Two key legislators want more information.
To that end, they have requested that the GAO conduct a study in the effects the auction is likely to have on LPTV service.
The reps are former Energy and Commerce Chair Joe Barton (R-TX) and current Communications and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA).
Among the questions they want answered:
* The total number of LPTV stations that provide original programming or broadcast local news and information, especially those serving racial and ethnic minority communities;
* The total number of TV translator stations that rebroadcast local news and information programming of a full-power TV broadcast station;
* A projection of the number of such LPTV stations and TV translator stations that will be unable to locate to or operate on replacement channels after the auction;
* A projection of the number of viewers that will lose over-the-air access to at least one such local LPTV station that provide local news and information, especially to underserved communities of interest.