In its rush to complete the "analog nightlight" program rules in time for television stations to make plans for the February 17 end date for analog television, and to comply with a statutory mandate to have the program in place by January 15, the FCC will require some people to work through their New Years Weekend to have comments to the FCC by Monday, January 5. Federal Register publication of the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on this proposal took place today. We wrote about the program to allow some analog television stations to operate for 30 days after the end of the digital transition, to carry emergency information and to inform viewers who missed the message on the digital conversion about what they need to do to receive digital television, and about some of the issues posed by the FCC, here. Reply comments on this proposal are due three days later –January 8.
As the comment date is also when stations who were not included on the original list of those who automatically qualify for nightlight status are supposed to ask to be included and show how they will protect digital television operations, some engineers will also need to be busy this weekend. With this short response time, station operators need to quickly get going on the comments due on Monday.