FCC Goes With Phased TV Repack Plan
The FCC on Friday (Sept. 30) announced through a Public Notice that its Media Bureau, charged with the creation of construction deadlines within the 39-month post-broadcast incentive auction transition period for TV stations assigned new channels in the repacking process, is developing a plan for a “phased” transition schedule.
The proposal calls for stations to be assigned to “a limited number of transition phases.”
The phases will all begin at the same time, but will have sequential end dates.
Meanwhile, potential “dependencies” — a.k.a. interference relationships — between certain television stations on pre-auction and post-auction channels will impact the transition process.
As the FCC recognized, stations with dependencies must work together to test equipment or begin operating on their new channels without causing interference. Coordination may involve stations agreeing to operate at lower power, or the acceptance of increased interference for “short periods of time,” the FCC says, while the stations involved are performing tests.
Things could get tricky. As the Commission admits, dependencies can involve “numerous and/or distant stations .. making successful coordination extremely challenging.”