47 CFR 74.787 - Digital licensing.

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§ 74.787 Digital licensing.

(a) Applications for digital low power television and television translator stations -

(1) Applications for digital conversion. Applications for digital conversion channels may be filed at any time. Such applications shall be filed on FCC Form 346 and will be treated as a minor change application. There will be no application fee.

(2) Applications for companion digital channel.

(i) A public notice will specify a time period or “window” for filing applications for companion digital channels. During this window, only existing low power television or television translator stations or licensees and permittees of Class A TV stations may submit applications for companion digital channels. Applications submitted prior to the initial window identified in the public notice will be returned as premature. At a subsequent time, a public notice will announcement the commencement of a filing procedure in which applications will accepted on a first-come, first-served basis not restricted to existing station licensees and permittees;

(ii) Applications for companion digital channels filed during the initial window shall be filed in accordance with the provisions of §§ 1.2105 and 73.5002 of this chapter regarding the submission of the short-form application, FCC Form 175, and all appropriate certifications, information and exhibits contained therein. To determine which applicants are mutually exclusive, applicants must submit the engineering data contained in FCC Form 346 as a supplement to its short-form application. Such engineering data will not be studied for technical acceptability, but will be protected from subsequently filed applications as of the close of the initial window period. Determinations as to the acceptability or grantability of an applicant's proposal will not be made prior to an auction;

(iii) After the close of the initial window, a public notice will identify the short-form applications received during the window filing period which are found to be mutually exclusive. Such short-form applications will be resolved via the Commission's Part 1 and broadcast competitive bidding rules, §§ 1.2100 et seq., and §§ 73.5000 et seq. of this chapter. Such applicants shall be afforded an opportunity to submit settlements and engineering solutions to resolve mutual exclusivity pursuant to § 73.5002(d) of this chapter;

(iv) After the close of the window, a public notice will identify short-form applications received that are found to be non-mutually exclusive. All non-mutually exclusive applicants will be required to submit an FCC Form 346 pursuant to § 73.5005 of this chapter. Such applications shall be processed pursuant to § 73.5006 of this chapter; and

(v) With regard to fees, an application (FCC Form 346) for companion digital channels shall be treated as a minor change application and there will be no application fee.

(3) Construction permit applications for new stations, major changes to existing stations in the low power television service. A public notice will specify the date upon which interested parties may begin to file applications for new stations and major facilities changes to existing stations in the low power television service. It will specify parameters for any applications that may be filed. Applications submitted prior to date announced by the public notice will be returned as premature. Such applications shall be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and shall be filed on FCC Form 346. Applications for new or major change shall be subject to the appropriate application fee. Mutually exclusive applications shall be resolved via the Commission's part 1 and broadcast competitive bidding rules, § 1.2100 et seq., and § 73.5000 et seq. of this chapter. Such applicants shall be afforded an opportunity to submit settlements and engineering solutions to resolve mutual exclusivity pursuant to § 73.5002(d) of this chapter.

(4) Displacement applications. A digital low power television or television translator station which is causing or receiving interference or is predicted to cause or receive interference to or from an authorized TV broadcast station, DTV station or allotment or other protected station or service, may at any time file a displacement relief application for change in channel, together with technical modifications that are necessary to avoid interference or continue serving the station's protected service area, provided the proposed transmitter site is not located more than 30 miles from the reference coordinates of the existing station's community of license. See § 76.53 of this chapter. A displacement relief application shall be filed on FCC Form 346 and will be considered a minor change and will be placed on public notice for a period of not less than 30 days to permit the filing of petitions to deny. These applications will not be subject to the filing of competing applications. Where a displacement relief application for a digital low power television or television translator station becomes mutually exclusive the application(s) for new analog or digital low power television or television translator stations, with a displacement relief application for an analog low power television or television translator station, or with other non-displacement relief applications for facilities modifications of analog or digital low power television or television translator stations, priority will be afforded to the displacement application for the digital low power television or television translator station to the exclusion of other applications. Mutually exclusive displacement relief applications for digital low power television and television translator stations shall be resolved via the Commission's part 1 and broadcast competitive bidding rules, § 1.2100 et seq., and § 73.5000 et seq. of this chapter. Such applicants shall be afforded an opportunity to submit settlements and engineering solutions to resolve mutual exclusivity pursuant to § 73.5002(d) of this chapter.

(5) Applications for analog-to-digital and digital-to-digital replacement television translators.

(i) Applications for new analog-to-digital replacement translators will not be accepted. Displacement applications for analog-to-digital replacement translators will continue to be accepted. An application for a new digital-to-digital replacement translator may be filed beginning the first day of the low power television and TV translator displacement window set forth in § 73.3700(g)(1) of this part to one year after the completion of the 39-month post-auction transition period as defined in § 27.4 of this chapter. Applications for digital-to-digital replacement translators filed during the displacement window will be considered filed on the last day of the window. Following the completion of the displacement window, applications for digital-to-digital replacement translators will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

(ii) Each original construction permit for the construction of a displacement analog-to-digital or new or displacement digital-to-digital replacement television translator station shall specify a period of three years from the date of issuance of the original construction permit within which construction shall be completed and application for license filed. The provisions of § 74.788(c) of this chapter shall apply for stations seeking additional time to complete construction of their displacement analog-to-digital or new or displacement digital-to-digital replacement television translator station.

(iii) Displacement applications for analog-to-digital replacement television translators shall be given processing priority over all other low power television and TV translator new, minor change, or displacement applications except applications for digital-to-digital replacement television translators with which they shall have co-equal priority. Applications for digital-to-digital replacement television translators shall be given processing priority over all low power television and TV translator new, minor change, or displacement applications, except displacement applications for analog-to-digital replacement translators with which they shall have co-equal priority.

(iv) Applications for new digital-to-digital replacement television translators and displacement applications for analog-to-digital and digital-to-digital replacement television translators shall be treated as an application for minor change. Mutually exclusive applications shall be resolved via the Commission's part 1 and broadcast competitive bidding rules, § 1.2100 et seq. and § 73.5000 et seq. of this chapter.

(v) A license for a digital-to-digital replacement television translator will be issued only to a full-power television broadcast station licensee that demonstrates in its application a loss in the station's pre-auction digital service area as a result of the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction, including the repacking process, conducted under section 6403 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-96). “Pre-auction digital service area” is defined as the geographic area within the full power station's noise-limited contour (as set forth in Public Notice, DA 15-1296, released November 12, 2015). The service area of the digital-to-digital replacement translator shall be limited to only the demonstrated loss area within the full power station's pre-auction digital service area, provided that an applicant for a digital-to-digital replacement television translator may propose a de minimis expansion of its full power pre-auction digital service area upon demonstrating that the expansion is necessary to replace a loss in its pre-auction digital service area.

(vi) The license for the analog-to-digital and digital-to-digital replacement television translator will be associated with the full power station's main license, will be assigned the same call sign, may not be separately assigned or transferred, and will be renewed with the full power station's main license.

(vii) Analog-to-digital and digital-to-digital replacement television translators may operate only on those television channels designated for broadcast television use following completion of the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction conducted under section 6403 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-96).

(viii) The following sections are applicable to analog-to-digital and digital-to-digital replacement television translator stations:

Applicable Rule Sections
§ 73.1030 Notifications concerning interference to radio astronomy, research and receiving installations.
§ 74.703 Interference.
§ 74.709 Land mobile station protection.
§ 74.734 Attended and unattended operation.
§ 74.735 Power Limitations.
§ 74. 751 Modification of transmission systems.
§ 74.763 Time of Operation.
§ 74.765 Posting of station and operator licenses.
§ 74.769 Copies of rules.
§ 74.780 Broadcast regulations applicable to translators, low power, and booster stations (except § 73.653 - Operation of TV aural and visual transmitters and § 73.1201 - Station identification).
§ 74.781 Station records.
§ 74.784 Rebroadcasts.

(b) Definitions of “major” and “minor” changes to digital low power television and television translator stations.

(1) Applications for major changes in digital low power television and television translator stations include:

(i) Any change in the frequency (output channel) not related to displacement relief;

(ii) Any change in transmitting antenna location where the protected contour resulting from the change does not overlap some portion of the protected contour of the authorized facilities of the existing station; or

(iii) Any change in transmitting antenna location of greater than 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the reference coordinates of the existing station's antenna location.

(2) Other facilities changes will be considered minor including changes made to implement a channel sharing arrangement provided they comply with the other provisions of this section.

(c) Not later than 11:59 pm local time on September 1, 2011, low power television or TV translator stations operating analog (NTSC) or digital facilities above Channel 51, that have not already done so, must file a digital displacement application for a channel below Channel 52 pursuant to the procedures in subsection (a)(4) of this rule. Low power television and TV translator stations operating analog (NTSC) or digital facilities above Channel 51 that have not submitted a digital displacement application by 11:59 pm local time on September 1, 2011 will be required to cease operations altogether by December 31, 2011. These stations' authorization for facilities above Channel 51 shall be cancelled. Any digital displacement application submitted by a low power television or TV translator station operating analog (NTSC) or digital facilities above Channel 51 that is submitted after 11:59 pm local time on September 1, 2011 will be dismissed. In addition, any outstanding construction permit (analog or digital) for an channel above Channel 51 will be rescinded on December 31, 2011, and any pending application (analog or digital) for a channel above Channel 51 will be dismissed on December 31, 2011, if the permittee has not submitted a digital displacement application by 11:59 pm local on September 1, 2011.

[69 FR 69333, Nov. 29, 2004, as amended at 74 FR 23655, May 20, 2009; 76 FR 44828, July 27, 2011; 81 FR 5053, Feb. 1, 2016]

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United States Code

Title 47 published on 2015-10-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 47 CFR Part 74 after this date.

  • 2015-11-23; vol. 80 # 225 - Monday, November 23, 2015
    1. 80 FR 73044 - Unlicensed Use of TV Band and 600 MHz Band Spectrum
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
      Final rule.
      Effective December 23, 2015, except for the amendments to §§ 15.713(b)(2)(iv) through (v), (j)(4), (j)(10), and (j)(11), 15.715(n) through (q), 27.1320, and 95.1111(d), which contain new or modified information collection requirements that require approval by the OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date when approved by OMB. The incorporation by reference listed in the rules is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of December 23, 2015.
      47 CFR Parts 2, 15, 27, 74, and 95
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