The Commission’s DTV Third Periodic Review adopting the rules and procedures for moving television stations through the end of the DTV transition was published in the Federal Register today, meaning that almost all of the new rules and forms adopted by the Order are now effective. Now that the majority of the new rules are in effect, several related filing dates have been established. As expected, this evening the FCC released its Public Notice notifying stations of several deadlines and summarizing some aspects of the Commission recent DTV Order.
First, the FCC Form 387 DTV Status Report is now available and can be filed electronically through CDBS. Consistent with the Third Periodic Review, all television stations, even those that have built and licensed their post-transition DTV facilities, must file a DTV Status Report on FCC Form 387 by February 19th (the FCC gave one extra day due to the federal holiday).
Second, as part of the final push to digital many television stations need to obtain a construction permit for their post-transition facilities. In order to avail themselves of expedited processing, stations must file their Form 301 or Form 340 construction permit applications by March 17th (45 days from today). If stations 1.) file their applications before March 17th, 2.) the application does not expand the station’s facilities beyond its final post-transition DTV Table Appendix B facilities, and 3.) the application specifies facilities that match or closely approximate the DTV Table Appendix B facilities, then the FCC has said that it will expedite processing of the application, generally acting on such applications within ten days.
Third, the FCC has imposed deadlines by which stations that need to obtain a construction permit for their post-transition facilities must file their construction permit applications. Stations with an August 18, 2008 construction deadline must file a CP application no later than March 17, 2008. Stations with a February 17, 2009 deadline must file a CP application no later than June 19, 2008.
The particular steps necessary for a station to complete the DTV transition by the February 17, 2009 end of analog broadcasting will vary depending on the station, but now that the new rules and forms are in effect stations are urged to begin preparing their applications immediately. See our earlier posting for more details about the Third Periodic Review and the specifics about how stations will complete the DTV transition.