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Public Broadcasters Ask FCC to Reevaluate Channel 6 Protections

Recent comments say the rule no longer serves its intended purpose

A group of public broadcasters is urging the FCC to formally re-evaluate the Channel 6 protection rules.

National Public Radio, America’s Public Television Stations, Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Public Broadcasting Service submitted comments on MB Docket No. 17-105 on July 5. (Earlier this week, we covered other recommendations from the group.)

The pubcasters write that, in its current form, section 73.525 – TV Channel 6 Protection has meant that “NCE FM stations have been forced to limit their service coverage areas so as to avoid interfering with non-existent analog television receivers.”

The rule is based on testing of analog TV receivers in the ’60s and ’70s. However, “recent testing by NPR demonstrated that modern digital television receivers are capable of rejecting the signals of adjacent NCE FM stations,” and thus, the pubcasters say, “the rule no longer serves its intended purpose.” 

Therefore, they recommend the commission “initiate a proceeding to resolve what, if any, interference protection is required.”