FCC Announces Phased TV Repack Plan

According to a report in RBR-TVBR, the FCC released a public notice announcing that the agency’s Media Bureau is developing a plan for a “phased” post-incentive auction repacking transition schedule. The Media Bureau is tasked 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.

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.

The key highlights of the phased transition include:

    • A station cannot cause more than 2% new interference to another station during the transition.
    • There will be no more than 10 transition phases. The phase completion date will be the date listed in each station’s construction permit as its construction deadline and will be the last day that a station may operate on its pre-auction channel. This approach takes into account international obligations and an agreement to undertake in a joint repacking with Canada.
    • All stations within a DMA will be assigned to no more than two different transition phases.
    • The difference in the number of stations in the largest transition phase and the smallest transition phase will be no more than 30 stations.
    • No phase can have more than 125 linked-stations.

Comments on the Public Notice are due October 31. Reply comments are due November 15.

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