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FCC releases broadcasters’ status report for digital transition

Fri, 08/29/2008 - 8:05am
Traci Patterson

A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Media Bureau report on the status of full-power TV broadcasters’ digital build-outs found that more than 96 percent of active, full-power TV stations are either fully operational with digital service or are on track to have their full digital service operational by Feb. 17.

The report also found the following:

  • 1,002 stations (56 percent of a current total of 1,798 active TV stations) reported in their Form 387s that they have fully constructed their post-transition digital television (DTV) facilities and are ready for the DTV transition; the only step remaining for these stations is to terminate analog operations before Feb. 18. 
  • 41 percent of stations (736) have not completed construction yet but report making appropriate progress and expect to be operating their full digital service before Feb. 18.
  • Approximately 3 percent (56 stations) will take advantage of the flexibility offered by the Commission in the Third DTV Periodic Review Report and Order, and they will be serving at least 85 percent of their service population on Feb. 17, with final digital operations beginning sometime thereafter; the flexibility is available for stations needing additional time due to “unique technical challenges,” such as top mount/side mount, weather-related issues or coordination with other stations.
  • One station forecasts that it will not be able to complete construction of its full digital facility until a few days after Feb. 17, and that it will be dark for this brief time. 
  • Three stations have not submitted their Form 387s but have unofficially reported that they intend to be ready for the DTV transition.

The numbers presented in the status report are derived from the information provided by the stations in their FCC Form 387 DTV Transition Status Report and other filings.

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