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Engineers Seek Emergency Ruling

BMC asks commission not to accept LPTV or TV translator filings for analog Channels 5, 6

The Broadcast Maximization Committee is asking the Federal Communications Commission to announce immediately that during the upcoming filing period for digital low-power television stations and television translators, no applications specifying Channels 5 or 6 will be accepted.

The group made the request in an emergency petition for a filing freeze on the use of Channels 5 and 6 for digital full-service television, LPTVs and TV translators.

The group consists of several prominent consulting radio engineers and others. It reminded the FCC of its proposal to refarm the spectrum just off the low end of the FM band to benefit the radio industry, on which RW has reported.

Also, BMC wrote, it’s unfair to NCE stations that this spectrum is being made available for application for new TV services, as full-service TV stations vacate analog Channel 6 in the DTV transition, and yet “NCE stations must continue to protect these former analog Channel 6 stations which no longer exist.”

Starting Aug. 25, the FCC will begin accepting applications for new digital-only LPTV stations and TV translator stations in rural areas; and beginning Jan. 25, 2010, the agency will accept applications on a nationwide, first-come, first-served basis for new digital-only LPTVs and TV translators. The commission is not accepting applications for new analog LPTVs or TV translators.

The BMC filed an emergency request for a filing freeze on the use of Channels 5 and 6 for digital full-service television, LPTVs and TV translators. BMC notes in its filing that Channels 5 and 6 have been proposed for FM broadcasting in the diversity proceeding. It would like the FCC to use the spectrum to extend the non-commercial service, allocate space for LPFMs and reallocate all AMs to the remaining available space with digital transmissions only.

The executive committee of the BMC includes Jack Mullaney, Paul Reynolds, Bert Goldman, Joseph Davis, Clarence Beverage, Laura Mizrahi, Lee Reynolds and Alex Welsh. And it includes lawyer Mark Lipp, a former attorney-advisor for the Broadcast Bureau of the FCC who also was chief of the Allocations Branch in the former Mass Media Bureau for eight years.

Related stories:
Could EXB Band Be Your New Home? (September 2008)

BMC: We Welcome an Open Dialogue (June 2009)