Tuesday marked the end of the TV repacking following the TV incentive auction – shrinking the TV band by moving all TV stations to channels below what used to be Channel 37 (with a few exceptions for stations given a couple of extra months due to last minute COVID-19 delays, as discussed in the FCC decision here). The FCC announced the end of the transition in a Press Release, and Chairman Pai delivered remarks on an American Consumer Institute webcast, thanking his staff for making the transition happen. Remarkably, in the 15-year life of this blog, this is the second time that we have written about the shrinking of the TV band – the first following the transition of television from analog to digital over a decade ago (see, for instance the articles here and here from the 2009 digital transition).
That transition to digital is not complete, as we were reminded by another Public Notice released by the FCC on Monday. This Public Notice emphasized to LPTV and TV translator operators, some of whom still have not transitioned to digital operations, that they have one more year to do so. By the end of the day on July 13, 2021, all LPTV and TV translator stations need to be operating in digital or they need to cease operations. The Public Notice reminds these operators who have construction permits for new digital facilities to extend those permits if they expire without construction completion before next year’s transition deadline – and alerts these operators to file by May 1, 2021 any last-minute modifications of the technical facilities specified in construction permits authorizing their digital transition. Filing by May 1 gives the FCC sufficient time to process these applications so that any changes can be implemented by the July 13 deadline.
Continue Reading The Evolution of TV – The End of the Repack, a One-Year Reminder to the End of Analog LPTV, and the Start of the ATSC 3.0 Roll-Out