3. By this Order, and pursuant to the authority set forth in the DTV Delay Act, we hereby revise and extend the following dates related to full-power broadcast television stations' licenses and construction permits: (1) the date of termination for a station's analog license is extended from February 17, 2009 to June 12, 2009 (11:59:59 pm local time); (We note that a number of stations are operating with reduced analog facilities pursuant to special temporary authority, based upon a showing that the service reduction was directly related to the construction and operation of their post-transition facilities. We also extend the date of termination for these STAs from February 17, 2009 to June 12, 2009 (11:59:59 pm local time). Similarly, we extend the date of termination for stations operating pre-transition digital facilities pursuant to STAs which currently terminate on February 17th to June 12, 2009 (11:59:59 pm local time).); (2) the construction permit deadline to construct a station's full-authorized post-transition (DTV) facility is extended from February 17, 2009 to June 12, 2009 (11:59:59 pm local time); (We note that theThird DTV Periodic Report and Orderestablished certain construction deadlines, rules and procedures for requesting and obtaining extensions for build-out of digital facilities.See Third Periodic Review of the Commission's Rules and Policies Affecting the Conversion to Digital Television,MB Docket No. 07-91, Report and Order, 72 FR 37310, 37322-37331 (July 9, 2007) (“Third DTV Periodic Report and Order”). We will address these deadlines, rules, and procedures if and as necessary in subsequent proceedings.); and (3) the date on which a station can commence operation of a facility authorized for post transition service without further Commission authorization is extended from 12:00 am February 18, 2009 to 12:00 am June 13, 2009 (local time). Absent the extensions granted in this Report and Order, existing authorizations to provide analog broadcast service and to construct replacement digital facilities will expire on the former transition date and a gap in service would occur beginning on February 18th. This would directly contravene the purpose of the DTV Delay to afford viewers more time in which to prepare for the digital transition.
4. We remind stations that they may complete construction of their post-transition digital facilities before June 12 at 11:59:59 pm, but may not operate such facilities before 12:00 am June 13, 2009 (local time) without express Commission approval because operation of a facility that has been authorized for post-transition but not pre-transition service could cause impermissible interference to pre-transition broadcasting. Therefore, stations that wish to operate a post-transition facility before 12:00 am June 13, 2009 (local time) must request special temporary authority (STA) from the Commission via the “DTV engineering STA,” including the appropriate engineering analysis.
B. February 11 Public Notice
1. Delegated Authority To Consider Waiver Reinstatement
5. We hereby delegate authority to the Media Bureau to determine whether showings submitted in response to the Commission's February 11, 2009 Public Notice justify reinstatement of the conditional waiver necessary to terminate analog service on February 17, 2009. TheFebruary 11 Public Noticereconsidered the partial waiver granted in an earlier public notice with regard to a number of stations intending to terminate analog service on February 17, 2009, based on the conclusion that termination by such stations poses a significant risk of substantial public harm. The stations in question, which are listed in the Appendix to theFebruary 11 Public Notice,may not terminate analog service on February 17 unless they obtain reinstatement of the waiver of the procedures set forth in theThird DTV Periodic Report and Orderby (1) making certain certifications by February 13 or (2) by showing “that extraordinary, exigent circumstances, such as the unavoidable loss of their analog site or extreme economic hardship, require that they terminate their analog service on February 17th.” A station electing to submit such a showing (as opposed to a station making a self-effectuating certification) “must await a determination by the Commission that its showing is sufficient before terminating analog service.” The Commission stated in theFebruary 11 Public Noticethat we would try to make such determinations before February 17th. Accordingly, and to expedite such determinations, we delegate authority to the Media Bureau to make the required determinations and notify stations of the results.
a. February 5 Public Notice
6. By this Order, we reconsider the limitation adopted in theFebruary 5 Public Noticethat stated: “We expect that stations indicating their intent to terminate their analog service on February 17 will do so. Therefore, as a condition of the waiver granted herein, the Commission will not permit stations to withdraw or modify these notifications except in the event of emergency or disaster necessitating the continued operation of analog service. The analog operations of stations submitting notification of intent to terminate analog service on February 17, 2009 pursuant to this Public Notice will no longer be protected from interference after February 17, 2009.” Some stations that were not on the Appendix to theFebruary 11 Public Noticehave expressed interest in withdrawing their notifications for good reasons associated with circumstances in their markets, but not rising to the level of an “emergency or disaster.” We find that it is in the public interest to allow stations to withdraw their notifications of intent to terminate analog service on February 17, 2009.
7. Due to the limited period of time remaining before February 17th, stations that wish to withdraw their notifications must notify us no later than 6:00 pm EST on Saturday, February 14, 2009. Stations should send an e-mail to:Barbara.Kreisman@fcc.gov, and place “Withdrawal of Termination Notification” in the subject line. (Stations listed in the Appendix to theFebruary 11 Public Noticethat choose not to terminate their analog service may so indicate on the form as described in footnote 10 to theFebruary 11 Public Notice; they should not and need not send notifications to this e-mail address.) Stations should also revise their “Viewer Notifications” to reflect their change in plans as soon as possible.
b. February 11 Public Notice
8. By this Order, we also reconsider and make a minor adjustment to one of the conditions set forth in theFebruary 11 Public Notice. The third condition stated, in relevant part: “Ensure that enhanced nightlight service concerning the DTV transition or emergency information will be provided in Spanish and English and accessible to thedisability community * * *” Some stations have maintained that they do not have the capability of translating emergency information into Spanish. We also note that neither our rules nor the Analog Nightlight Act require emergency information in Spanish; rather the Analog Nightlight Act requires only that information concerning the DTV transition be provided in both English and Spanish. (SeeSection 2(b) of the Short-term Analog Flash and Emergency Readiness Act. We also urge stations to provide DTV transition information in other languages as appropriate for their viewers.)
9. We recognize the value and importance of ensuring that emergency information is available in Spanish for many viewers. However, we do not wish to prevent stations that can otherwise comply fully with the eight public interest conditions set forth in theFebruary 11 Public Noticefrom doing so and proceeding with their analog termination, as provided in theFebruary 11 Public Notice. Therefore, we will not require stations to provide emergency information in Spanish if the station does not otherwise provide Spanish language programming. We certainly encourage stations to broadcast emergency information in Spanish or other languages as needed by their viewers. The requirement for DTV transition information in Spanish remains in place.
C. Additional Information
10. For additional information, contact Evan Baranoff,Evan.Baranoff@fcc.gov, of the Media Bureau, Policy Division, at (202) 418-7142.
III. Ordering Clauses
11.It is orderedthat, pursuant to the authority contained in Sections 4, and 303 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154 and 303, and Sections 2 and 4(c) of the DTV Delay Act, DTV Delay Act 2, 4(c), this Report and Orderis adopted.
12.It is also ordered,pursuant to the authority contained in Section 4(c) of the DTV Delay Act, DTV Delay Act Section 4(c), the actions herein are effective upon release of this Report and Order. As discussed above, the actions herein must be effective no later than February 17, 2009 at 11:59:59 pm to avoid a gap in analog broadcast service that would harm viewers and directly contravene the purposes of the DTV Delay. The Commission is releasing this Report and Order on Friday, February 13, 2009, only two days after the DTV Delay Act's enactment on February 11, 2009, and the last business day before February 17, 2009 (Monday, February 16 is a federal holiday). As a result, we find that there is good cause to make the actions herein effective upon release of this Report and Order by the Commission (i.e., February 13, 2009).
Federal Communications Commission.
William F. Caton,