National public broadcasting organizations have asked the FCC to recognize the special challenges that government licensees and stations with translators could face as they try to meet deadlines following the broadcast spectrum auction now underway.
TV broadcasters could need to shift their channels, known as repacking, after the auction. Stations with translators would need to file construction permits to move the translators or expand their signals. Stations will face a 39-month deadline to complete this technically complex work.
America’s Public Television Stations, PBS and CPB submitted joint comments to the FCC Monday concerning post-auction scheduling. They noted that 40 percent of public TV stations are licensed to government entities such as state agencies or public universities. Those licensees must often meet multistep procurement requirements that could affect their ability to meet the repacking deadline.
“These procurement processes in some cases could last months, which would delay stations’ ability to order equipment and engage professional services firms that are critical to carrying out their channel changes,” Kate Riley, APTS v.p., government and public affairs, said in a statement.
The public broadcasters encouraged the FCC to consider deadline extensions for public TV channel repacking and a “special filing window” for translator work.