What the FCC Left Undone for LPTV/Translators


LPTVWe’ve reported what options the FCC has okayed to help low-power TV stations and TV translators in the subsequent auction repack.

Proposals such as channel-sharing and more time to convert to digital will make it somewhat easier for these owners to navigate the shrunken TV band in the repack.

But what did the agency leave out?

The agency did not adopt a proposal to give LPTVs and translators more flexibility in their spectrum use that would have allowed their participation in the broadband market, according to Fletcher Heald & Hildreth.

FHH states in its blog this approach would have been especially useful to LPTVs and translator owners in rural areas.

Another proposal rejected by the agency would have allowed LPTVs and translators to go dark now and remain off the air until authorized to move to new channels (or until they know that they will not have to move), even if they remain dark for more than the one-year limit.

Providing opportunities for new capital to flow to LPTVs and TV translators would help stem the financial drain they’ll undergo in the repack, according to FHH.

The majority of the new rules become effective after Federal Register publication, we’ve reported.