Low Power Television Digital Rules, 70824-70837 [2014-27895]

Download as PDF 70824 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 229 / Friday, November 28, 2014 / Proposed Rules October 1, 2014 (79 FR 59186) (FRL– 9912–87). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical information contact: Jeffrey Taylor, Chemical Control Division (7405M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460–0001; telephone number: (202) 564–8828; email address: taylor.jeffrey@epa.gov. For general information contact: The TSCA-Hotline, ABVI-Goodwill, 422 South Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14620; telephone number: (202) 554– 1404; email address: TSCA-Hotline@ epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This document extends the public comment period established in the Federal Register document of October 1, 2014. In that document, EPA proposed a SNUR for 15 related chemical substances commonly known as nonylphenols (NP) and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE). For 13 NPs and NPEs, EPA proposed to designate any use as a ‘‘significant new use,’’ and for 2 additional NPs, EPA proposed that any use other than use as an intermediate or use as an epoxy cure catalyst would constitute a ‘‘significant new use.’’ EPA is hereby extending the comment period, which was set to end on December 1, 2014, to January 15, 2015. To submit comments, or access the docket, please follow the detailed instructions provided under ADDRESSES in the Federal Register document of October 1, 2014. If you have questions, consult the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 721 Environmental protection, Chemicals, Hazardous substances, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Dated: November 21, 2014. Wendy C. Hamnett, Director, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. [FR Doc. 2014–28215 Filed 11–26–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 15 and 74 [MB Docket No. 03–185; GN Docket No. 12– 268; ET Docket No. 14–175; FCC 14–151] Low Power Television Digital Rules Federal Communications Commission. AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Nov 26, 2014 Jkt 235001 ACTION: Proposed rule. In this Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) seeks comment on a number of issues involving low power television (LPTV) and TV translator stations including measures to facilitate the final conversion of LPTV and TV translator stations to digital service and consider additional means to mitigate the potential impact of the incentive auction and the repacking process on LPTV and TV translator stations to help preserve the important services they provide. SUMMARY: Comments Due: December 29, 2014. Reply Comments Due: January 12, 2015. Written comments on the proposed information collection requirements, subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, Pub. L. 104–13, should be submitted on or before January 27, 2015. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by MB Docket No. 03–185, GN Docket No. 12–268 and ET Docket No. 14–175 and/or FCC 14–151, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Federal Communications Commission’s Web site: http:// www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although we continue to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail.) All filings must be addressed to the Commission’s Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission. • People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: FCC504@fcc.gov or phone: 202–418–0530 or TTY: 202– 418–0432. For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. In addition to filing comments with the Secretary, a copy of any PRA comments on the proposed collection requirements contained herein should be submitted to the Federal Communications Commission via email to PRA@fcc.gov and to Cathy.Williams@fcc.gov and also to Nicholas A. Fraser, Office of DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Management and Budget, via email to Nicholas_A._Fraser@omb.eop.gov or via fax at 202–395–5167. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shaun Maher, Shaun.Maher@fcc.gov of the Media Bureau, Video Division, (202) 418–2324. For additional information concerning the PRA information collection requirements contained in this document, contact Cathy Williams, Federal Communications Commission, at (202) 418–2918, or via email Cathy.Williams@fcc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission’s Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 14–151, adopted October 9, 2014, in MB Docket No. 03–185 (Third NPRM). The Commission released its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 18 FCC Rcd 18365 (2003) in 2003 and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 25 FCC Rcd 13833 (2010) in 2010. The full text of the Third NPRM is available for inspection and copying during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY– A257, Portals II, Washington, DC 20554, and may also be purchased from the Commission’s copy contractor, BCPI, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY–B402, Washington, DC 20554. Customers may contact BCPI, Inc. via their Web site, http://www.bcpi.com, or call 1–800–378–3160. This document is available in alternative formats (computer diskette, large print, audio record, and Braille). Persons with disabilities who need documents in these formats may contact the FCC by email: FCC504@fcc.gov or phone: 202– 418–0530 or TTY: 202–418–0432. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis This Third NPRM contains proposed new and modified information collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the information collection requirements contained in this document, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104– 13. Comments should address: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission’s burden estimates; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, E:\FR\FM\28NOP1.SGM 28NOP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 229 / Friday, November 28, 2014 / Proposed Rules including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107–198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), the Commission seeks specific comment on how it might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. PRA comments should be submitted to Cathy Williams, Federal Communications Commission via email at PRA@fcc.gov and Cathy.Williams@fcc.gov and Nicholas A. Fraser, Office of Management and Budget via fax at 202–395–5167 or via email to Nicholas_A._Fraser@omb.eop.gov. To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the Web page http:// www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain, (2) look for the section of the Web page called ‘‘Currently Under Review,’’ (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the ‘‘Select Agency’’ box below the ‘‘Currently Under Review’’ heading, (4) select ‘‘Federal Communications Commission’’ from the list of agencies presented in the ‘‘Select Agency’’ box, (5) click the ‘‘Submit’’ button to the right of the ‘‘Select Agency’’ box, (6) when the list of FCC ICRs currently under review appears, look for the Title of this ICR and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to OMB will be displayed. OMB Control Numbers: 3060–1100. Title: Section 15.117(k), TV Broadcast Receivers; section 15.117(b), Elimination of Analog Tuner Requirement. Form Number: None. Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection. Respondents: Business or other for profit entities. Number of Respondents/Responses: 1,550; 5,550 responses. Estimated Hours per Response: 0.25– 5 hrs. Frequency of Response: One time reporting requirement; Third party disclosure requirement. Total Annual Burden: 4,000 hours. Total Annual Cost: No cost. Obligation to Respond: Mandatory for the disclosure requirement and required to obtain or retain benefits for the other requirement. The statutory authority for this information collection is contained in sections 1, 2(a), 3(33) and (52), 4(i) and (j), 7, 154(i), 301, 303(r) and (s), 307, 308, 309, 336, 337 and 624(a) of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Nov 26, 2014 Jkt 235001 Communications Act of 1934, as amended. Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information. Privacy Act Assessment: No impact(s). Needs and Uses: In this Third NPRM, the Commission proposed eliminating the analog tuner requirement contained in § 15.117(b) of the rules. Should it adopt its proposal, the Commission also proposed that broadcast receiver manufacturers and importers who market digital-only equipment to educate consumers and retailers about the devices’ limits and capabilities to prevent consumer confusion. The information collection requirements that are contained in 47 CFR 15.117(k) remain a part of this collection and it is not impacted by the Third NPRM. Therefore, it remains unchanged since the information collection requirements were last approved by OMB. OMB Control Numbers: 3060–0017. Title: Application for a Low Power TV, TV Translator or TV Booster Station License, FCC Form 347. Form Numbers: FCC Form 347. Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection. Respondents: Business or other for profit entities; Not for profit institutions; State, local or Tribal government. Number of Respondents/Responses: 550 respondents; 550 responses. Estimated Hours per Response: 1.5 hours per response. Frequency of Response: One time reporting requirement; On occasion reporting requirement. Total Annual Burden: 825 hours. Total Annual Cost: $66,446. Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain benefits. The statutory authority for this information collection is contained in sections 154(i), 301, 303, 307, 308 and 309 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information. Privacy Act Assessment: No impact(s). Needs and Uses: In this Third NPRM, it is proposed that low power television and TV translator stations be permitted to share a channel. FCC Form 347 will be used to license channel sharing between these types of stations. This Third NPRM adopts the following proposed information collection requirements: The information collection requirements that are contained in 47 CFR 74.800(b) (Licensing of Channel Sharing Stations) proposes to require that the LPTV or TV translator channel PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 70825 sharing station relinquishing its channel must file an application for the initial channel sharing construction permit (FCC Form 346), include a copy of the channel sharing agreement as an exhibit, and cross reference the other sharing station(s). Any engineering changes necessitated by the channel sharing arrangement may be included in the station’s application. Upon initiation of shared operations, the station relinquishing its channel must notify the Commission that it has terminated operation pursuant to § 73.1750 of this part and each sharing station must file an application for license (FCC Form 347). Therefore, FCC Form 347, Application for Low Power TV, TV Translator or TV Booster Station License, will be modified to allow applicants to propose that their stations be licensed on a shared basis. OMB Control Numbers: 3060–1086. Title: Section 74.787 Digital Licensing; § 74.790, Permissible Service of Digital TV Translator and LPTV Stations; § 74.794, Digital Emissions, and § 74.796, Modification of Digital Transmission Systems and Analog Transmission Systems for Digital Operation; § 74.798, LPTV Digital Transition Consumer Education Information, Protection of Analog LPTV. Form Number: Not applicable. Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection. Respondents: Business or other for profit entities; not for profit institutions; State, local or Tribal government. Number of Respondents/Responses: 8,445 respondents; 27,386 responses. Estimated Hours per Response: 0.50– 4 hours. Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement; One-time reporting requirement; Third party disclosure requirement. Total Annual Burden: 56,386 hours. Total Annual Cost: $69,033,000. Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this information collection is contained in section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information. Privacy Act Assessment: No impact(s). Needs and Uses: In this Third NPRM, the Commission proposed rules and policies for a digital-to-digital replacement digital replacement translator to permit full power television stations to continue to provide service to viewers that may have otherwise lost service as a result of the station being ‘‘repacked’’ in the E:\FR\FM\28NOP1.SGM 28NOP1 70826 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 229 / Friday, November 28, 2014 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Commission’s incentive auction process. Unlike other television translator licenses, the replacement digital television translator license will be associated with the full-service station’s main license and will have the same four letter call sign as its associated main station. As a result, a replacement digital television translator license may not be separately assigned or transferred and will be renewed or assigned along with the full-service station’s main license. Almost all other rules associated with television translator stations are applied to replacement digital television translators. Moreover, the Third NPRM proposes an information collection requirement contained in 47 CFR 74.787(a)(5)(v). The proposed information collection requirements contained in proposed rule 47 CFR 74.787(a)(5)(v) states that an application for a digital to digital replacement digital television translator may be filed by a full power television station that can demonstrate that a portion of its digital service area will not be served by its post-incentive auction digital facilities. The service area of the replacement digital television translators shall be limited to only a demonstrated loss area. However, an applicant for a replacement digital television translator may propose a de minimis expansion of its full power preincentive auction digital service area upon demonstrating that it is necessary to replace its post-incentive auction digital loss area. The information collection requirements that are contained in 47 CFR 74.787(a)(2)(iii), (a)(3), (a)(4) and (a)(5)(i), 47 CFR 74.790(f), (e) and (g), 47 CFR 74.794, 47 CFR 74.796(b)(5) and 74.796(b)(6), 47 CFR 74.798 and the protection of analog LPTV requirement remain a part of this information collection. The information collection requirements contained in these rule sections remain unchanged and FCC 14–151 did not impact on them. Synopsis of Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 1. In this Third NPRM, the Commission considers measures to ensure the successful completion of the LPTV and TV translator digital transition, help preserve the important services LPTV and TV translator stations provide, and other related matters. Specifically, the Commission: (1) Tentatively concludes to extend the September 1, 2015 digital transition deadline for LPTV and TV translator stations; (2) tentatively concludes to adopt rules to allow channel sharing by and between LPTV and TV translator VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Nov 26, 2014 Jkt 235001 stations; (3) tentatively concludes to create a ‘‘digital-to-digital replacement translator’’ service for full power stations that experience losses in their pre-auction service areas; (4) seeks comment on the proposed use of the incentive auction optimization model to assist LPTV and TV translator stations displaced by the auction and repacking process to identify new channels; (5) seeks comment on whether to permit digital LPTV stations to operate analog FM radio-type services on an ancillary or supplementary basis; and (6) seeks comment on whether to eliminate the requirement in § 15.117(b) of our rules that TV receivers include analog tuners. The Commission also invites input on any other measures it should consider to further mitigate the impact of the auction and repacking process on LPTV and TV translator stations. Extending the September 1, 2015 LPTV and TV Translator Digital Transition Date 2. The Commission tentatively concluded that it should postpone the September 1, 2015 deadline for LPTV and TV translator stations to transition to digital. The Commission concluded that it appears that the current LPTV and TV translator digital transition deadline may occur in close conjunction with the incentive auction, leaving LPTV and TV translator stations little or no time to consider its impact before having to complete their digital conversion. The Commission noted that, as of the release date of the Third NRPM, approximately 56% of LPTV and 80% of TV translator stations have completed their transition to digital. However, 795 LPTV and 779 TV translator stations have not yet completed their conversion. Because a significant number of stations have yet to complete their transition to digital service, and with less than a year before the digital transition deadline, the Commission tentatively concluded that it should postpone the transition deadline in order to avoid requiring stations to incur the costs of digital transition before completion of the auction and repacking process, which is likely to impact a significant number of LPTV and TV translator stations. The Commission also sought input from the industry about why the remaining analog stations have not yet converted. 3. The Commission noted that this proceeding concerns matters related only to LPTV and TV translator stations and not Class A television stations. Because Class A stations are not similarly impacted by the incentive auction and repacking process, the measures discussed In this Third NRPM PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 to mitigate the impact on LPTV and TV translator stations, including extending the digital transition deadline, do not extend to Class A stations. 4. Although the Commission tentatively concluded that postponement of the digital transition deadline is appropriate, it noted that, since the initiation of the digital television conversion process, the Commission has consistently sought to ensure an expedited and successful transition for all television services, so that the public will be able to enjoy the benefits of digital broadcast television technology. It sought comment on whether and how postponement of the low power transition date will impact these goals. In addition, it sought comment from existing LPTV and TV translator stations on the status of their conversion efforts and the additional costs they may have to incur should they have to ‘‘double build’’ their digital facilities. The Commission also invited comment from low power stations that have completed the conversion process regarding their experience and the extent of their current digital service offerings. 5. Should it decide to adopt its tentative conclusion and postpone the September 1, 2015 transition date, the Commission sought comment on whether to establish a new deadline now or wait until after the incentive auction. The advantage of the latter approach would be to allow the Commission to examine the outcome of the incentive auction and take into account the overall impact of the repacking process on LPTV and TV translator stations before settling on a new transition date. Alternatively, prior to the auction, the Commission could establish a new transition date based on the record in this proceeding. That approach would provide LPTV and TV translator stations with more certainty about when the transition will end and might expedite completion of the digital transition. The Commission sought comment on the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches. 6. If the Commission decides to set, prior to the auction, a new transition date, it sought comment on an appropriate new transition date. The Commission noted that LPTV and TV translator stations may have to wait several months after the conclusion of the incentive auction to determine whether they are displaced as well as the channel availability for displacement applications. The Commission sought comment on whether a postponement of the current deadline to twelve months after the close of the incentive auction would be E:\FR\FM\28NOP1.SGM 28NOP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 229 / Friday, November 28, 2014 / Proposed Rules appropriate in order to further its goal of expediting the transition to digital for these services. The Commission also invited comment on alternative approaches and dates. Whatever the new deadline, the Commission announced that it intended that it will continue to be a ‘‘hard’’ deadline and that all analog transmissions will be required to cease even if stations’ digital facilities are not yet constructed. 7. If the Commission extends the digital transition deadline for LPTV and TV translator stations, it proposed to make corresponding rule changes and to modify transition-related digital construction permits to effectuate any new transition date. In addition, the Commission proposed to modify the rules to continue to allow transitioning stations to request one ‘‘last minute’’ extension beyond the transition deadline of up to six months, so long as the request is filed at least four months before the new deadline and meets the other criteria in our current rule. As in the current rule, the Commission proposed that extension requests no longer be accepted after that deadline and that use of the tolling rule commence the following day. The Commission sought comment on these proposals. 8. The Commission noted that the September 1, 2015 digital transition date does not apply to holders of unbuilt construction permits for new digital LPTV and TV translator stations. These permits are issued a three-year construction deadline at the time the initial construction permit is granted. Many of the more than 1,700 outstanding new digital LPTV and TV translator station permittees have been granted two extensions of time to construct by the Media Bureau staff and some have filed applications requesting a third extension of time. In order to treat these permittees similarly to the permittees of transitioning LPTV and TV translator stations, the Commission noted that, by a Public Notice that was released the same day, it had suspended the expiration date and construction deadlines of construction permits for new digital LPTV and TV translator stations pending final action in this proceeding. In the event the Commission extends the deadline for transitioning analog LPTV and TV translator stations in this proceeding, it tentatively concluded to extend the deadline for construction permits for new digital stations to conform their construction deadline to the new digital transition deadline. The Commission sought comment on this tentative conclusion. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Nov 26, 2014 Jkt 235001 LPTV and TV Translator Channel Sharing 9. The Commission tentatively concluded that it should adopt rules to permit channel sharing by and between LPTV and TV translator stations, and sought comment on a variety of rules to implement channel sharing for these stations. The Commission tentatively concluded that such rules are permitted under its general authority in Title III of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. 10. The Commission tentatively concluded that authorizing channel sharing between and among LPTV and TV translator stations would serve the public interest, and we sought comment on this tentative conclusion. 11. Should the Commission decide to authorize channel sharing by and between LPTV and TV translator stations, it announced that channel sharing would be entirely voluntary. The Commission stated that it did not intend to be involved in the process of matching licensees interested in channel sharing with potential partners. Rather, LPTV and TV translator stations would decide for themselves whether and with whom to enter into a channel sharing arrangement. The Commission proposed to require all LPTV and TV translator stations to operate in digital on the shared channel and to retain spectrum usage rights sufficient to ensure at least enough capacity to operate one standard definition (‘‘SD’’) programming stream at all times. The Commission proposed to allow stations flexibility within this ‘‘minimum capacity’’ requirement to tailor their agreements and allow a variety of different types of spectrum sharing to meet the individualized programming and economic needs of the parties involved. The Commission will not propose to prescribe a fixed split of the capacity of the six megahertz channel between the stations from a technological or licensing perspective and that all channel sharing stations be licensed for the entire capacity of the six megahertz channel and that the stations be allowed to determine the manner in which that capacity will be divided among themselves subject only to the minimum capacity requirement. 12. The Commission proposed to retain its existing policy framework for the licensing and operation of channel sharing LPTV and TV translator stations. Under this policy, despite sharing a single channel and transmission facility, each station would continue to be licensed separately. Each station would have its own call sign, and each licensee would separately be PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 70827 subject to all of the Commission’s obligations, rules, and policies. The Commission sought comment on these proposals. 13. The Commission proposed a licensing scheme for reviewing and approving channel sharing between LPTV and TV translator stations that differs from the one adopted for full power and Class A stations. Because the implementation of a channel sharing arrangement does not involve construction that requires Commission pre-approval, and because channel sharing arrangements involving full power and Class A stations will have been reviewed already in conjunction with the stations submitting bids in the incentive auction, the Commission found that there was no need for such stations to go through a two-step process by first applying for construction permits to implement their channel sharing proposals and then filing for new shared licenses. In contrast, LPTV and TV translator stations will not have already participated in the incentive auction, and the Commission will not have had an opportunity to review their proposed channel sharing arrangements, including any technical changes to the stations’ facilities. Therefore, the Commission proposed the following two-step process for implementing channel sharing between LPTV and TV translator stations that addresses the particularities of the low power television service while minimizing costs and burdens in order to encourage channel sharing among these stations. 14. As the first step, if no technical changes are necessary for sharing, a channel sharing station relinquishing its channel would file an application for digital construction permit (FCC Form 346) for the same technical facilities as the sharer station, including a copy of the channel sharing agreement (‘‘CSA’’) as an exhibit, and cross reference the other sharing station(s). In this case, the sharer station would not need to take action at this time. If the CSA required technical changes to the sharer station’s facilities, each sharing station would file an application for construction permit for identical technical facilities proposing to share the channel, along with the CSA. As a second step, after the sharing stations have obtained the necessary construction permits, implemented their shared facility and initiated shared operations, a station relinquishing its channel would notify the Commission that it has terminated operation on that channel. At the same time, sharing stations would file applications for license (FCC Form 347) to complete the licensing process. The E:\FR\FM\28NOP1.SGM 28NOP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 70828 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 229 / Friday, November 28, 2014 / Proposed Rules Commission sought comment on these proposed procedures. 15. The Commission comment on an appropriate length of time for channel sharing LPTV and TV translator stations to implement their arrangements. The Commission required that channel sharing arrangements involving full power and Class A stations in the incentive auction be implemented within three months after the relinquishing station receives its reverse auction proceeds. While the Commission found that this deadline would expedite the transition to the reorganized UHF band, it does believe it is necessary to set a similar deadline for LPTV and TV translator stations to implement their channel sharing arrangements. Therefore, the Commission sought comment on whether to allow channel sharing stations the standard three-year construction period under the rules to implement their sharing deals. It stated that it expected that many stations will not need a full three-year time period. Indeed, some LPTV and TV translator stations displaced by the repacking process and forced to go silent will need to resume operations within twelve months to avoid automatic cancellation of their license pursuant to section 312(g) of the Communications Act. Finding a channel sharing partner and resuming operations on a shared facility within the twelve months could be an important way for displaced stations to avoid automatic cancellation of their license. Other stations not facing this timing constraint may want or need more time to implement their new shared facilities. The Commission sought comment on this issue. 16. The Commission also sought comment on whether to apply existing restrictions on relocation proposals to LPTV and TV translator channel sharing arrangements. LPTV and TV translator stations may need flexibility in their ability to move their facilities in order to take advantage of channel sharing. Specifically, LPTV and TV translator stations may need to propose to relocate to a shared transmission site that is several miles from the location of their current transmission site. However, under our current rules, LPTV and TV translator stations filing a minor change application may not propose a move of their transmitter site of greater than 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the reference coordinates of the existing station’s antenna location. In addition, LPTV and TV translator stations may file a minor change application only if there is contour overlap between the proposed and existing facilities. The Commission sought comment on whether continued VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Nov 26, 2014 Jkt 235001 application of these limitations is necessary and appropriate or whether their application in the context of channel sharing modifications would unduly limit channel sharing between LPTV and TV translator stations. Alternatively, should these restrictions be waived in certain cases to allow LPTV and TV translators more flexibility in their channel sharing arrangements, and if so, under what circumstances? 17. The Commission proposed to adopt ‘‘channel sharing operating rules’’ similar to those adopted for full power and Class A television stations in the Incentive Auction Report and Order with respect to the terms of CSAs, as well as the transfer or assignment of channel sharing licenses. The Commission proposed a different approach, however, when a channel sharing station’s license is terminated due to voluntary relinquishment, revocation, or failure to renew. 18. CSAs for full power and/or Class A stations must include provisions governing certain key aspects of their operations. In so requiring, the Commission recognized that channel sharing will create new and complex relationships, and sought to avoid disputes that could lead to a disruption in service to the public and to ensure that each licensee is able to fulfill its independent obligation to comply with all pertinent statutory requirements and our rules. At the same time, the Commission noted that it ordinarily does not become involved in private contractual agreements and that it does not wish to discourage channel sharing relationships. 19. The Commission tentatively concluded that the same requirements are warranted in the context of LPTV and TV translator channel sharing. As with full power and Class A sharing arrangements, the Commission believes this approach will protect the public interest and ensure the success of channel sharing with minimal intrusion into channel sharing relationships. Therefore, it proposed that LPTV and TV translator CSAs be required to contain provisions outlining each licensee’s rights and responsibilities in the following areas: (1) Access to facilities, including whether each licensee will have unrestrained access to the shared transmission facilities; (2) allocation of bandwidth within the shared channel; (3) operation, maintenance, repair, and modification of facilities, including a list of all relevant equipment, a description of each party’s financial obligations, and any relevant notice provisions; and (4) termination or transfer/assignment of PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 rights to the shared licenses, including the ability of a new licensee to assume the existing CSA. The Commission proposed to reserve the right to review CSA provisions and require modification of any that do not comply with these requirements or the Commission’s rules. The Commission sought comment on these proposals. 20. The Commission sought comment on a streamlined approach to the situation in which an LPTV or TV translator channel sharing station’s license is terminated due to voluntary relinquishment, revocation, failure to renew, or any other circumstance. Under the proposed approach, where an LPTV or TV translator sharing station’s license is terminated, the Commission would modify the license(s) of the remaining channel sharing station(s) to reflect that its channel is no longer shared with the terminated licensee. In the event that only one station remains on the shared channel, that station could request that the shared channel be re-designated as a non-shared channel or could enter into a CSA with another LPTV or TV translator station and resume shared operations, subject to Commission approval. This approach differs from the approach the Commission adopted for full power and Class A television channel sharing arrangements in order to reduce the cost and burden to LPTV and TV translator stations and to encourage channel sharing among these stations. 21. In addition, the Commission proposes to allow rights under a CSA to be assigned or transferred, subject to the requirements of section 310 of the Communications Act, the Commission’s rules, and the requirement that the assignee or transferee comply with the applicable CSA. The Commission sought comment on the above proposals and on any alternative approaches it should consider. 22. Should the Commission adopt rules authorizing channel sharing for LPTV and TV translator stations, it sought comment on whether to permit these stations to channel share with full power and Class A television stations as well. The Commission sought comment on the feasibility of allowing channel sharing between primary (full power and Class A) and secondary (LPTV and TV translator) services, each of which operate with differing power levels and interference protection rights. In the Incentive Auction Report and Order, the Commission allowed channel sharing between full power and Class A television stations despite the fact that each operate with different technical rules. It concluded that the Class A television station sharing a full power E:\FR\FM\28NOP1.SGM 28NOP1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 229 / Friday, November 28, 2014 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS television station’s channel after the incentive auction would be permitted to operate under the part 73 rules governing power levels and interference. To facilitate channel sharing and further assist displaced LPTV and TV translator stations to find a new channel, the Commission sought comment on whether to allow LPTV and TV translator stations that share a full power or Class A television station’s channel to similarly operate under the rules governing power levels and interference for full power and Class A television stations. In the unlikely event a full power or Class A television station proposes to share an LPTV or TV translator station’s channel, the Commission proposes that the full power or Class A station would be subject to the power level and interference protection rules associated with the channel of the LPTV or TV translator station. The Commission sought comment on these proposals, including any regulatory difficulties that would result from channel sharing between a full power or Class A television station and an LPTV or TV translator station. Creation of a New Digital-to-Digital Replacement Translator Service 23. The Commission proposes to establish a new ‘‘digital-to-digital’’ replacement translator service that will allow eligible full power television stations to recover lost digital service area that results from the reverse auction and repacking process. The Commission tentatively concluded that eligibility for the digital-to-digital replacement translator service should be limited to those full power television stations whose channels are changed following the incentive auction that can demonstrate that (1) a portion of their pre-auction service area will not be served by the facilities on their new channel, and (2) the proposed digital-todigital replacement translator will be used solely to fill in such loss areas. The Commission sought comment on this tentative conclusion. 24. The Commission proposed to limit the service area of digital-to-digital replacement translators to digital loss areas resulting from the reverse auction and repacking process. To implement this restriction, it proposed to require applicants for a digital-to-digital replacement translator to demonstrate a digital loss area through an engineering study that depicts the station’s pre- and post-incentive auction digital service areas. The Commission tentatively concluded that ‘‘pre-auction digital service area’’ should be defined as the geographic area within the full power VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Nov 26, 2014 Jkt 235001 station’s noise-limited contour (of its facility licensed by the pre-auction licensing deadline). The Commission recognized that, due to the lack of available transmitter sites, it may be impossible or extremely costly for stations to locate a translator that replaces digital loss areas without also slightly expanding their pre-auction digital service areas. The Commission stated that it believed a better approach would be to allow applicants to propose de minimis expansions of pre-auction digital service areas on a showing that the expansions are necessary to replace service area lost as a result of their new channel assignments. To demonstrate necessity, the Commission proposed that stations be required to show that it is not possible to site a digital-to-digital replacement translator without de minimis expansion of the station’s preauction digital service area. Further, it proposed to define de minimis on a case-by-case basis, consistent with the approach it took for processing analog to digital replacement translator applications. The Commission sought comment on these proposals. 25. The Commission also sought comment on the appropriate timing for the availability of this proposed new service. Specifically, the Commission proposed that the opportunity to apply for a digital-to-digital replacement translator be limited, commencing with the opening of the post-auction LPTV and TV translator displacement window and ending one year after the completion of the 39-month postincentive auction transition period. Under this proposal, stations could begin applying for digital-to-digital replacement translators during the LPTV and TV translator displacement window and would then have one year beyond the completion of the postauction transition period to identify the need and apply for a digital-to-digital replacement translator. The Commission stated that it believed this proposed deadline will provide full power television stations sufficient time to identify any possible loss areas that result from their new channel assignments while also helping to limit this service to its proposed objective of replacing a loss that results from the reverse auction and repacking process. The Commission sought comment on this proposal and on any alternative commencement and expiration dates it should consider. 26. The Commission proposed to afford applications for new digital-todigital replacement translators co-equal processing priority with displacement applications for existing DRTs that are displaced as a result of the auction and PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 70829 repacking process. The Commission proposed co-equal processing treatment of these two types of applications to meet two goals. First, we seek to assist those full power stations that need a new digital-to-digital replacement translator to quickly obtain an authorization and schedule construction to coincide with the completion of their repacked facilities. The Commission also recognized that full power stations with existing DRTs that are displaced by the repacking process will need to construct on their new channel to help preserve their existing service. Therefore, to balance these two goals, it proposed that applications for new digital-to-digital replacement translators be afforded a co-equal processing priority with displacement applications for existing DRTs in cases of mutual exclusivity. 27. The Commission also proposed that both applications for new digital-todigital replacement translators and displacement applications for existing DRTs would have processing priority over all other LPTV and TV translator applications including new, minor change and displacement applications. Under this approach, the Commission would begin to accept applications for new digital-to-digital replacement translators commencing with the opening of the post-auction LPTV and TV translator displacement window. All applications for new digital-to-digital replacement translators and displacement applications for existing DRTs filed during the post-auction displacement window would be considered filed on the last day of the window, would have priority over all other displacement applications filed during the window by LPTV and TV translator stations, and would be considered co-equal if mutually exclusive. Following the close of the displacement window, applications for new digital-to-digital replacement translators would be accepted on a firstcome, first-served basis, would continue to have priority over all LPTV and TV translator new, minor change or displacement applications, even if firstfiled, and co-equal priority with applications for displacement applications for existing DRTs filed on the same day. The Commission sought comment on these proposals and requested input on any alternative approaches it should consider. 28. The Commission sought comment on a number of proposed licensing and operating rules for digital-to-digital replacement translators analogous to those the Commission adopted for analog to digital replacement translators in 2009. Although the Commission E:\FR\FM\28NOP1.SGM 28NOP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 70830 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 229 / Friday, November 28, 2014 / Proposed Rules tentatively concluded that the same rules would be appropriate, it welcomed input regarding why a different approach might be preferable in this context and any alternative proposals. 29. The Commission proposed that the digital-to-digital replacement translator license could not be separately assigned or transferred and would be renewed, transferred, or assigned along with the main license. The Commission also proposed that applications for digital-to-digital replacement translators be filed on FCC Form 346, be treated as minor change applications, and be exempt from filing fees. The Commission proposed that digital-to-digital replacement translator stations be licensed with ‘‘secondary’’ frequency use status. Under this approach, these translators would not be permitted to cause interference to, and must accept interference from, full power television stations, certain land mobile radio operations, and other primary services, and would be subject to the interference protections to land mobile station operations in the 470512 MHz band set forth in the rules. 30. The Commission proposed to apply the existing rules associated with television translator stations to digitalto-digital replacement translators, including the rules concerning power limits, out-of-channel emission limits, unattended operation, time of operation, and resolution of mutual exclusivity. The Commission also proposed to assign digital-to-digital replacement translators the same call sign as their associated full power television station. 31. The Commission proposed that stations be given a full three-year construction period to build their digital-to-digital replacement translators. The Commission believes that a full three-year period for completion of replacement translator facilities will help to ensure the successful implementation of this new service. Among other things, the Commission believes it will allow stations that are reassigned to new channels in the repacking process, some of which will have 39 months to complete construction of their postauction facilities, to schedule construction of their replacement translator to coincide with the completion of their full power facilities. The Commission is concerned that a shorter construction period could discourage licensees from taking advantage of their processing priority by applying for digital-to-digital replacement translators at the earliest possible time. 32. The Commission tentatively concluded that allowing the licensing of VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Nov 26, 2014 Jkt 235001 new analog-to-digital replacement translators is no longer necessary and proposed to no longer accept applications for such facilities. Given the length of time that has passed since the digital transition deadline, the Commission believes any future applications will be unnecessary for stations to replace an analog loss area that occurred as a result of the digital transition. The Commission sought comment on this tentative conclusion. Assistance to LPTV and TV Translator Stations in Finding Displacement Channels After the Incentive Auction 33. The Commission stated that it believes that the availability of the repacking and optimization software may provide a unique opportunity for the Commission to assist with the challenges displaced LPTV and TV translator stations face in finding new channel homes. The Commission sought comment on the use of these software tools to facilitate the relocation of displaced low power stations. In particular, because it is likely that a number of low power stations will be displaced from UHF channels, the Commission sought comment on whether and, if so how, our optimization software could facilitate the ability of low power stations to relocate to VHF channels where UHF channels are unavailable. One possibility is that, prior to opening the special window for LPTV and TV translator stations affected by the repacking process to file displacement applications, the Media Bureau could utilize the optimization model to identify market areas where all displaced LPTV and TV translator stations can be accommodated onto new channels. For such markets, the Media Bureau would issue a Public Notice listing potential channel assignments for displaced low power stations. Displaced low power stations would be encouraged to file for those channels in the displacement window. In cases where not all LPTV and TV translator stations can be accommodated onto new channels using current operating parameters, the Media Bureau could use the software to identify possible arrangements based on other objectives, such as maximizing the number of stations assigned or minimizing the interference that stations might experience, to assist stations in examining engineering solutions to find channels. In addition, the Commission seek comment on alternative methods for efficiently assigning the spectrum that will remain available post-auction for LPTV and TV translator stations. PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 34. The Commission emphasized that stations’ decision to seek channel assignments recommended by the Media Bureau as a result of using repacking and optimization software or another method to assist with the displacement process would be voluntary. It does not propose to require stations to accept channel assignments identified by the Media Bureau. It intends that these stations continue to be permitted to seek displacement channels that work best for their particular circumstances, so long as the channel selections comply with our licensing and technical rules. The Commission sought comment on these proposals. Operation of Analog Radio Services by Digital LPTV Stations as Ancillary or Supplementary Services 35. The Commission sought comment on whether to allow LPTV stations on digital television channel 6 (82–88 MHz) to operate analog FM radio-type services on an ancillary or supplementary basis pursuant to § 73.624(c) of the rules. Currently, some analog LPTV stations licensed on channel 6 are operating with very limited visual programming and an audio signal that is programmed like a radio station. FM radio listeners are able to receive the audio portion of these LPTV stations at 87.76 MHz, which is adjacent to noncommercial educational (NCE) FM channel 201 (88.1 MHz). When these LPTV stations convert to digital, however, they are unable to continue providing such radio service because the digital audio portion of their signal can no longer be received by standard FM receivers. LPTV stations have been proposing engineering solutions to allow their continued FM radio-type operation following their conversion to digital. For example, a station has proposed using a single transmitter that allows a digital visual and audio stream, as well as a separate analog audio transmission, to simultaneously operate a digital LPTV station on channel 6 and an analog FM radio-type service at 87.76 MHz. Under this proposal, the Commission would treat the analog FM audio transmission as an ‘‘ancillary or supplementary’’ service offering under § 74.790(i) of the Commission’s rules, which provides that ‘‘a digital LPTV station may offer services of any nature, consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity, on an ancillary or supplementary basis in accordance with the provisions of § 73.624(c). . . .’’ Section 73.624(c) in turn provides that: The kinds of services that may be provided include, but are not limited to E:\FR\FM\28NOP1.SGM 28NOP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 229 / Friday, November 28, 2014 / Proposed Rules computer software distribution, data transmissions, teletext, interactive materials, aural messages, paging services, audio signals, subscription video, and any other services that do not derogate DTV broadcast stations’ obligations under paragraph (b) of this section. 36. The Commission seeks comment on whether to permit LPTV stations on digital television channel 6 (82–88 MHz) to operate dual digital and analog transmission systems in this manner. These stations are low power television stations and, following the eventual transition, will be operating solely in digital. The Commission sought comment on whether a digital LPTV station can provide an analog FM radiotype service as an ancillary or supplementary service consistent with the Communications Act and our rules. 37. The Commission sought comment on the potential for a digital LPTV station’s analog FM radio-type service to interfere with or disrupt the LPTV station’s digital TV service. Section 336(b)(2) of the Act provides that the Commission shall ‘‘limit the broadcasting of ancillary or supplementary services on designated frequencies so as to avoid derogation of any advanced television services, including high definition television broadcasts, that the Commission may require using such frequencies.’’ Would a digital LPTV station be able to operate an analog transmitter without interfering or derogating its co-channel digital operation? 38. In addition, the Commission sought comment on the potential of interference to other primary licensees. Because an LPTV station operates on a secondary interference basis, the provision of an ancillary or supplementary service by the station must also be on a secondary basis. Therefore, it must protect the operations of all primary licensees. LPTV stations on channel 6 are second and third adjacent to FM channels 201 and 202, which are licensed on a primary basis for NCE FM radio operations. The Commission sought comment on the potential for interference from digital LPTV stations’ ancillary or supplementary analog FM radio-type operations to primary licensees, including NCE FM radio stations. It also sought comment on what rules we might adopt to prevent such interference. If it permits such operations, should the Commission prohibit any overlap between the 100 dBu interfering contour of the channel 6 LPTV station and the 60 dBu protected contour of the NCE FM station? In addition, should the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Nov 26, 2014 Jkt 235001 Commission propose that if the operation of the LPTV station causes any actual interference to the transmission of any authorized FM broadcast station, the LPTV station would be required to eliminate the interference or immediately suspend operations? Would such a prohibition of contour overlap adequately prevent interference to primary licensees including NCE FM stations? 39. If the Commission decides to permit analog FM radio-type operations by LPTV stations on an ancillary or supplementary basis, it sought comment on whether such operations should be subject to the part 73 rules applicable to FM radio stations. Section 336(b)(3) of the Communications Act mandates that the Commission ‘‘apply to any other ancillary or supplementary service such of the Commission’s regulations as are applicable to the offering of analogous services by any other person . . . .’’ The Commission sought comment on whether the analog FM radio-type service discussed herein is ‘‘analogous to other services subject to regulation by the Commission’’ within the meaning of section 336(b)(3) and the Commission’s implementing rules and, if so, on which of the part 73 rules should apply to the offering of an analog FM radio-type service. 40. Finally, should the Commission permit the provision of an analog FM radio-type service on an ancillary or supplementary basis, it sought comment on whether that service would be subject to a five percent fee. The ancillary and supplementary rule provides that digital television stations ‘‘must annually remit a fee of five percent of the gross revenues derived from all ancillary and supplementary services . . . which are feeable . . . .’’ ‘‘Feeable’’ services are defined as ‘‘[a]ll ancillary or supplementary services for which payment of a subscription fee or charge is required in order to receive the service.’’ ‘‘Feeable’’ services are also defined as ‘‘[a]ny ancillary or supplementary service for which no payment is required from consumers in order to receive the service . . . if the DTV licensee directly or indirectly receives compensation from a third party in return for the transmission of material provided by that third party (other than commercial advertisements used to support broadcasting for which a subscription fee is not required).’’ The FM radio-type services provided by LPTV stations, thus far, appear to have been available to the general public without subscription. Given these definitions, the Commission sought comment on whether, and under what circumstances, an LPTV station’s PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 70831 ancillary or supplementary analog FM radio service should be deemed ‘‘feeable’’ and subject to the five percent fee. Elimination of Analog Tuner Requirement 41. The Commission sought comment on a proposed change to § 15.117(b) of our rules that would eliminate any obligation to integrate analog tuners in TV receivers. This proposed modification would allow TV broadcast receiver manufacturers and importers to ship and import devices without analog tuners before all LPTV and TV translator stations cease analog broadcasting, but would continue to require those devices to be able to receive all digital broadcast TV channels. The Commission asked if it should eliminate the analog tuner requirement before all broadcast TV stations cease broadcasting in analog. The Commission sought comment on the costs to manufacturers of continuing to build analog tuners into their devices in comparison with the benefits to consumers. If the Commission eliminates the analog tuner requirement, it sought comment on whether to modify § 15.117 to remove requirements that apply to analog tuners. 42. In its waiver orders, the Media Bureau also conditioned the waivers on the recipients’ voluntary commitments to educate consumers and retailers about the devices’ limits and capabilities to prevent consumer confusion. If the Commission adopts its proposal, it sought comment on whether to impose similar consumer protection or education measures on broadcast receiver manufacturers and importers who market digital-only equipment prior to the LPTV and TV translator digital transition deadline. If so, should such measures only be required for a defined period of time? Or would such requirements be unnecessary because the effect on consumers by the time any elimination would become effective will be ‘‘de minimis’’? The Commission sought comment on its statutory authority to adopt consumer protection or education measures and on any other issues related to our analog tuner rule that we should consider. Additional Measures To Preserve LPTV and TV Translator Services 43. Finally, the Commission sought comment on additional measures it should consider in order to mitigate the impact of the incentive auction on LPTV and TV translator stations and to help preserve the important services they provide. Commenters proposing other measures for consideration should identify the legal authority to take the E:\FR\FM\28NOP1.SGM 28NOP1 70832 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 229 / Friday, November 28, 2014 / Proposed Rules proposed measures and describe in detail any perceived benefits and disadvantages of the measures advocated. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (‘‘RFA’’) 1 the Commission has prepared this present Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (‘‘IRFA’’) concerning the possible significant economic impact on small entities by the policies and rules proposed in this Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 14–151, adopted October 9, 2014 in MB Docket No. 03–185 (Third NPRM). Written public comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines for comments indicated on the first page of the Third NPRM. The Commission will send a copy of the Third NPRM including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA).2 In addition, the Third NPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.3 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Need for and Objectives of the Proposed Rules On June 2, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) released its Incentive Auction Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd 657 (2014), adopting rules to implement the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction authorized by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act (Spectrum Act). The Commission recognized in the Incentive Auction Report and Order that the incentive auction will have a significant impact on low power television stations and TV translator stations. As part of the incentive auction, the Commission will (1) conduct a ‘‘reverse auction,’’ whereby full power and Class A television stations may opt to relinquish some or all of their spectrum usage rights in exchange for incentive payments, and (2) reorganize or ‘‘repack’’ the broadcast television bands in order to free up a portion of the ultra high frequency (UHF) band for new flexible uses. The Commission concluded in the Incentive Auction 1 See 5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. 601 et. seq., has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (‘‘SBREFA’’), Pub. L. 104–121, Title II, 110 Stat. 847 (1996). The SBREFA was enacted as Title II of the Contract With America Advancement Act of 1996 (‘‘CWAAA’’). 2 See 5 U.S.C. 603(a). 3 Id. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Nov 26, 2014 Jkt 235001 Report and Order that the Spectrum Act does not mandate the protection of LPTV and TV translator stations because the scope of mandatory protection under section 6403(b)(2) is limited to full power and Class A television stations. The Commission also declined to extend discretionary protection to these stations because of the detrimental impact such protection would have on the repacking process and the success of the incentive auction. Accordingly, some LPTV and TV translator stations will be displaced as a result of the repacking process and required to either find a new channel or discontinue operations. In order to mitigate the impact of the auction and repacking process on LPTV and TV translator stations, the Commission stated that it intended to initiate an LPTV/TV Translator rulemaking proceeding ‘‘to consider additional measures that may help alleviate the consequences of LPTV and TV translator station displacements resulting from the auction and repacking process. In this Third NPRM, the Commission considers the measures discussed in the Incentive Auction Report and Order as well as other measures to ensure the successful completion of the LPTV and TV translator digital transition and the continued viability of these services. In this Third NPRM, the Commission seeks comment on whether to extend the September 1, 2015 digital transition deadline for LPTV and TV translator stations. Because a significant number of stations have yet to complete their transition to digital service, and with less than a year before the digital transition deadline, the Commission believes that it is appropriate to reconsider whether the deadline should be postponed in light of the projected timing of its incentive auction. The Commission seeks comment on an appropriate new transition date and whether to revise its related rules to accommodate the change. The Commission also tentatively concludes to adopt rules to permit channel sharing by and between LPTV and TV translator stations, and seeks comment on a variety of rules to implement channel sharing for these stations. The Commission’s existing channel sharing rules apply only to full power and Class A stations bidding in the incentive auction. The Commission now considers creating channel sharing rules for LPTV and TV translator stations outside of the auction context. The Commission also tentatively concludes to create a ‘‘digital-to-digital replacement translator’’ service for full power stations that are reassigned to PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 new channels in the incentive auction, either in the repacking process and or through a winning UHF-to-VHF or highVHF-to-low-VHF bid, if those full power stations discover that a portion of their existing pre-auction service area will no longer be able to receive service after the station transitions to its new channel. The Commission seeks comment on various rules and policies to implement the new digital-to-digital replacement translator service. In this Third NPRM, the Commission seeks comment on a proposed use of the incentive auction optimization model to assist LPTV and TV translator stations displaced by the incentive auction repacking process to identify new channels. The Commission also seeks comment on whether to permit digital LPTV stations to operate analog FM radio-type services on an ancillary or supplementary basis. Currently, some analog LPTV stations licensed on channel 6 are operating with very limited visual programming and an audio signal that is programmed like a radio station. FM radio listeners are able to receive the audio portion of these LPTV stations at 87.76 MHz, which is adjacent to noncommercial educational (NCE) FM channel 201 (88.1 MHz). When these LPTV stations convert to digital, however, they are unable to continue providing such radio service because the digital audio portion of their signal can no longer be received by standard FM receivers. Anticipating the end of their FM radio-type operations, LPTV stations have been proposing engineering solutions to allow their continued operation following their conversion to digital. The Commission seeks comment on whether to permit LPTV stations to operate dual digital and analog transmission systems in this manner and whether the provision of an analog FM radio-type service is what Congress intended when it passed the 1996 Telecom Act to allow digital television stations, including LPTV stations, to offer ancillary or supplementary services. In this Third NPRM, the Commission seeks comment on whether to eliminate the requirement in § 15.117(b) of our rules that TV receivers include analog tuners. This proposed modification would allow TV broadcast receiver manufacturers and importers to build and import devices without analog tuners before all LPTV and TV translator stations cease analog broadcasting, but would continue to require those devices to be able to receive all digital broadcast TV channels. Finally, the Commission invites input on any other measures it should E:\FR\FM\28NOP1.SGM 28NOP1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 229 / Friday, November 28, 2014 / Proposed Rules consider to further mitigate the impact of the auction and repacking process on LPTV and TV translator stations. Legal Basis The authority for the action proposed in this rulemaking is contained in sections 1, 4(i) and (j), 5(c)(1), 7, 301, 302, 303, 307, 308, 309, 312, 316, 319, 324, 332, 336, and 337 of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C 151, 154(i) and (j), 155(c)(1), 157, 301, 302, 303, 307, 308, 309, 312, 316, 319, 324, 332, 336, and 337. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Proposed Rules Will Apply The RFA directs the Commission to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that will be affected by the proposed rules, if adopted.4 The RFA generally defines the term ‘‘small entity’’ as having the same meaning as the terms ‘‘small business,’’ ‘‘small organization,’’ and ‘‘small government jurisdiction.’’ 5 In addition, the term ‘‘small business’’ has the same meaning as the term ‘‘small business concern’’ under the Small Business Act.6 A small business concern is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA.7 Television Broadcasting. This economic census category ‘‘comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting images together with sound. These establishments operate television broadcasting studios and facilities for the programming and transmission of programs to the public.’’ 8 The SBA has created the following small business size standard for Television Broadcasting firms: Those having $14 million or less in annual 4 Id. at 603(b)(3). U.S.C. 601(6). 6 Id. at 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of ‘‘small business concern’’ in 15 U.S.C. 632). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies ‘‘unless an agency, after consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and after opportunity for public comment, establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the agency and publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register.’’ 5 U.S.C. 601(3). 7 15 U.S.C. 632. Application of the statutory criteria of dominance in its field of operation and independence are sometimes difficult to apply in the context of broadcast television. Accordingly, the Commission’s statistical account of television stations may be over-inclusive. 8 U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions: 515120 Television Broadcasting, http:// www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/ naicsrch?code=515120&search=2012 (last visited Mar. 6, 2014). tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 55 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Nov 26, 2014 Jkt 235001 receipts.9 The Commission has estimated the number of licensed commercial television stations to be 1,387.10 In addition, according to Commission staff review of the BIA Advisory Services, LLC’s Media Access Pro Television Database on March 28, 2012, about 950 of an estimated 1,300 commercial television stations (or approximately 73 percent) had revenues of $14 million or less.11 We therefore estimate that the majority of commercial television broadcasters are small entities. We note, however, that in assessing whether a business concern qualifies as small under the above definition, business (control) affiliations must be included.12 Our estimate, therefore, likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by our action because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. In addition, an element of the definition of ‘‘small business’’ is that the entity not be dominant in its field of operation. We are unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific television station is dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, the estimate of small businesses to which rules may apply does not exclude any television station from the definition of a small business on this basis and is therefore possibly over-inclusive to that extent. In addition, the Commission has estimated the number of licensed noncommercial educational (‘‘NCE’’) television stations to be 395.13 These stations are non-profit, and therefore considered to be small entities.14 There are also 2,460 LPTV stations, including Class A stations, and 3838 TV translator stations.15 Given the nature of these services, we will presume that all of these entities qualify as small entities under the above SBA small business size standard. Electronics Equipment Manufacturers. Rules adopted in this proceeding could apply to manufacturers of television 9 13 CFR 121.201 (NAICS code 515120) (updated for inflation in 2010). 10 See FCC News Release, Broadcast Station Totals as of June 30, 2014 (rel. July 9, 2014). 11 We recognize that BIA’s estimate differs slightly from the FCC total given the information provided above. 12 ‘‘[Business concerns] are affiliates of each other when one concern controls or has the power to control the other, or a third party or parties controls or has the power to control both.’’ 13 CFR 121.103(a)(1). 13 See FCC News Release, Broadcast Station Totals as of June 30, 2014 (rel. July 9, 2014). 14 See generally 5 U.S.C. 601(4), (6). 15 See FCC News Release, Broadcast Station Totals as of June 30, 2014 (rel. July 9, 2014). PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 70833 receiving equipment and other types of consumer electronics equipment. The SBA has developed definitions of small entity for manufacturers of audio and video equipment 16 as well as radio and television broadcasting and wireless communications equipment.17 These categories both include all such companies employing 750 or fewer employees. The Commission has not developed a definition of small entities applicable to manufacturers of electronic equipment used by consumers, as compared to industrial use by television licensees and related businesses. Therefore, we will utilize the SBA definitions applicable to manufacturers of audio and visual equipment and radio and television broadcasting and wireless communications equipment, since these are the two closest NAICS Codes applicable to the consumer electronics equipment manufacturing industry. However, these NAICS categories are broad and specific figures are not available as to how many of these establishments manufacture consumer equipment. According to the SBA’s regulations, an audio and visual equipment manufacturer must have 750 or fewer employees in order to qualify as a small business concern.18 Census Bureau data indicates that there are 554 U.S. establishments that manufacture audio and visual equipment, and that 542 of these establishments have fewer than 500 employees and would be classified as small entities.19 The remaining 12 establishments have 500 or more employees; however, we are unable to determine how many of those have fewer than 750 employees and therefore, also qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. Under the SBA’s regulations, a radio and television broadcasting and wireless communications equipment manufacturer must also have 750 or fewer employees in order to qualify as a small business concern.20 Census Bureau data indicates that there 1,215 U.S. establishments that manufacture radio and television broadcasting and wireless communications equipment, 16 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS Code 334310. CFR 121.201, NAICS Code 334220. 18 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS Code 334310. 19 Economics and Statistics Administration, Bureau of Census, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1997 Economic Census, Industry Series— Manufacturing, Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing, Table 4 at 9 (1999). The amount of 500 employees was used to estimate the number of small business firms because the relevant Census categories stopped at 499 employees and began at 500 employees. No category for 750 employees existed. Thus, the number is as accurate as it is possible to calculate with the available information. 20 13 C.F.R 121.201, NAICS Code 334220. 17 13 E:\FR\FM\28NOP1.SGM 28NOP1 70834 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 229 / Friday, November 28, 2014 / Proposed Rules and that 1,150 of these establishments have fewer than 500 employees and would be classified as small entities.21 The remaining 65 establishments have 500 or more employees; however, we are unable to determine how many of those have fewer than 750 employees and therefore, also qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. We therefore conclude that there are no more than 542 small manufacturers of audio and visual electronics equipment and no more than 1,150 small manufacturers of radio and television broadcasting and wireless communications equipment for consumer/household use. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other Compliance Requirements This Third NRPM proposes the following new or revised reporting or recordkeeping requirements. To implement channel sharing between LPTV and TV translator stations, stations will follow a two-step process proposed by the Commission— first filing an application for construction permit (Form 346) and then application for license (Form 347). Stations terminating operations to share a channel would be required to submit a termination notice pursuant to the existing Commission rule. These existing forms and collections will need to be revised to accommodate these new channel-sharing related filings and to expand the burden estimates. In addition, the Commission proposes that channel sharing stations submit their channel sharing agreements (CSAs) with the Commission and be required to include certain provisions in their CSAs. The existing collection concerning the execution and filing of CSAs will need to be revised. To implement its proposed new digital-to-digital replacement translator service, the Commission will need to revise its existing replacement translator forms (346 and 347), rules and collections and to expand the burden estimates. Should the Commission eliminate its rule requiring that television receivers include an analog tuner, prior to the time that all broadcasters are operating 21 Economics and Statistics Administration, Bureau of Census, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1997 Economic Census, Industry Series— Manufacturing, Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing, Table 4 at 9 (1999). The amount of 500 employees was used to estimate the number of small business firms because the relevant Census categories stopped at 499 employees and began at 500 employees. No category for 750 employees existed. Thus, the number is as accurate as it is possible to calculate with the available information. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Nov 26, 2014 Jkt 235001 digital-only, it is considering requiring that all broadcast receiver manufacturers and importers who market digital-only equipment prior to the LPTV and TV translator digital transition deadline educate consumers and retailers about the devices’ limits and capabilities to prevent consumer confusion. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): (1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.22 The Commission’s proposal to extend the September 1, 2015 LPTV and TV Translator digital transition date will greatly minimize the impact on small entities having to complete their transition to digital. Instead of having to possibly endure the expense of having to construct a digital facility only to be displaced by the incentive auction reorganization of spectrum and having to finance the construction of a second digital facility, the Commission’s proposal will allow small entities to wait until the incentive auction is complete and to determine the impact on their digital transition plan. The Commission’s proposal to allow LPTV and TV Translator to share channels between themselves and with other television services would greatly minimize the impact on small entities. Many stations will be displaced by the incentive auction reorganization of spectrum and allowing these stations to channel share will reduce the cost of having to build a new facility to replace the one that was displaced. Stations can share in the cost of building a shared channel facility and will experience cost savings by operating a shared transmission facility. In addition, channel sharing is voluntary and only those stations that determine that channel sharing will be advantageous will enter into this arrangement. The Commission’s proposed licensing and operating rules for channel sharing 22 5 PO 00000 U.S.C. 603(c)(1)–(c)(4). Frm 00038 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 between LPTV and TV translator stations and other television services were designed to minimize impact on small entities. The rules provide a streamlined method for reviewing and licensing channel sharing for these stations as well as a streamlined method for resolving cases where a channel sharing station loses its license on the shared channel. These rules were designed to reduce the burden and cost on small entities. The Commission is aware that some full service television stations operate with limited budgets. Accordingly, every effort was taken to propose rules for the new digital-to-digital replacement translator that impose the least possible burden on all licensees, including small entities. Existing forms will be used to implement this new service thereby reducing the burden on small entities. The Commission proposes that applications for digital-to-digital replacement translators should be given licensing priority over all other low power television and TV translator applications except displacement applications for analog-to-digital replacement translators (for which they would have co-equal priority). The Commission could have proposed allowing no such priority, but this alternative was not considered because it would result in many more mutually exclusive filings and delay the implementation of this valuable service. The Commission also proposes to limit the eligibility for such service to only those full-service television stations that can demonstrate that a portion of their digital service area will not be served by their post-incentive auction facilities and for translators to be used for that purpose. Alternatively, the Commission could have allowed all interested parties to file for new translators, however such approach was not considered because it would also result in numerous mutually exclusive filings and would greatly delay implementation of this needed service. The Commission further proposes that the service area of the replacement translator should be limited to only a demonstrated loss area and seeks comment on whether a replacement translator should be permitted to expand slightly a full-service station’s post-incentive auction service area. Once again, the Commission could have allowed stations to file for expansion of their existing service areas but such an alternative was not seriously considered because it could result in the use of valuable spectrum that the Commission seeks to preserve for other uses. E:\FR\FM\28NOP1.SGM 28NOP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 229 / Friday, November 28, 2014 / Proposed Rules The Commission proposes that replacement digital television translator stations should be licensed with ‘‘secondary’’ frequency use status. The Commission could have proposed that replacement translators be licensed on a primary frequency use basis, but this alternative was not proposed because it would result in numerous interference and licensing problems. The Commission proposes that, unlike other television translator licenses, the license for the replacement translator should be associated with the full power station’s main license. Therefore, the replacement translator license could not be separately assigned or transferred and would be renewed or assigned along with the full-service station’s main license. Alternatively, the Commission could have proposed that the replacement translator license be separate from the main station’s license however this approach was not seriously considered because it could result in licenses being sold or modified to serve areas outside of the loss area, and thus would undermine the purpose of this new service. The Commission also tentatively concludes that the other rules associated with television translator stations should apply to the new replacement translator service including those rules concerning the filing of applications, payment of filing fees, processing of applications, power limits, out-ofchannel emission limits, call signs, unattended operation, and time of operation. The alternative could have been to design all new rules for this service, but that alternative was not considered as it would adversely impact stations ability to quickly implement these new translators. The Commission’s proposal to discontinue accepting applications for analog-to-digital replacement translators may impact small entities. However, the Commission determined that the need to prevent a negative impact on the post-incentive auction displacement window that could occur if the precious few channels were used for this service rather than for use by displaced LPTV and TV translator stations outweighed the limited impact on full power stations seeking a replacement translator given that the DTV transition was completed over five years ago. The Commission’s efforts to assist LPTV and TV translator stations in finding displacement channels after the incentive auction will greatly benefit small entities. By helping stations find new channels from an ever shrinking universe of channels that will remain after the incentive auction reorganization of channels, the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Nov 26, 2014 Jkt 235001 Commission will save small entities time and money by not having to consult with an engineer to make such determinations. Such savings can then be used to construct and operate the displacement facility. The Commission seeking comment on whether to permit operation of analog radio services by digital LPTV stations as ancillary or supplementary services could greatly benefit small entity LPTV stations by allowing them to find new business operations and sources of income. LPTV stations could establish a separate radio operation on an ancillary basis in addition to their primary digital television service. Such ancillary operation could provide a separate source of income to supplement their television operation and provide a separate audience for their programming and advertising. The Commission seeking comment on whether to permit equipment manufacturers to forego having to include an analog tuner in their television sets could benefit small entity equipment manufacturers. Having to include an analog tuner increases the cost of a television sets and equipment manufacturers, some of whom may be small entities, would enjoy a cost savings as a result of the Commission’s proposal. Any impact that not including an analog tuner in new television sets may have upon consumers should be minimal now that the digital transition has been complete for over five years and would be outweighed by the benefit of less expensive digital television sets. Federal Rules Which Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Commission’s Proposals None. List of Subjects 47 CFR Part 15 Communications equipment. 47 CFR Part 74 Television. Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Proposed Rules For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR parts 15 and 74 as follows: PART 15—RADIO FREQUENCY DEVICES 1. The authority citation for part 15 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, 304, 307, 336, 544a, and 549. PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 70835 2. Amend § 15.117 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows: ■ § 15.117 TV broadcast receivers. * * * * * (b) TV broadcast receivers shall be capable of adequately receiving all digital channels allocated by the Commission to the television broadcast service. * * * * * PART 74—EXPERIMENTAL RADIO, AUXILIARY, SPECIAL BROADCAST AND OTHER PROGRAM DISTRIBUTIONAL SERVICES 3. The authority citation for part 74 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, 307, 309, 336 and 554 4. Amend § 74.731 by revising paragraph (l) to read as follows: ■ § 74.731 Purpose and permissible service. * * * * * (l) After 11:59 p.m. local time on September 1, 2015, Class A television stations may no longer operate any facility in analog (NTSC) mode. After 11:59 p.m. local time on (insert new transition date), low power television and TV translator stations may no longer operate any facility in analog (NTSC) mode. ■ 5. Amend § 74.787 by revising paragraphs (a)(5) to read as follows: § 74.787 Digital licensing. (a) * * * (5) Applications for analog-to-digital and digital-to-digital replacement television translators. (i) Applications for new analog-todigital replacement translators will not be accepted. Displacement applications for analog-to-digital replacement translators will continue to be accepted. An application for a digital-to-digital replacement translator may be filed beginning the first day of the low power television and TV translator displacement window set forth in § 73.3700(g)(1) of this chapter to one year after the completion of the 39 month transition period set forth in § 73.3700(b)(4) of this chapter. Applications for digital-to-digital replacement translators filed during the displacement window will be considered filed on the last day of the window. Following the completion of the displacement window, applications for digital-to-digital replacement translators will be accepted on a firstcome, first-serve basis. (ii) Applications for analog-to-digital replacement television translator shall be given processing priority over all E:\FR\FM\28NOP1.SGM 28NOP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 70836 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 229 / Friday, November 28, 2014 / Proposed Rules other low power television and TV translator applications except displacement applications (with which they shall have co-equal priority) as set forth in § 73.3572(a)(4)(ii) of this chapter. Applications for digital-todigital replacement television translator shall be given processing priority over all other low power television and TV translator applications and shall have co-equal priority with displacement applications filed for analog-to-digital replacement translators. (iii) The service area of the digital-todigital replacement translator shall be limited to only a demonstrated loss area within the full-service station’s preauction digital service area. ‘‘Preauction digital service area’’ is defined as the geographic area within the full power station’s noise-limited contour (of its facility licensed by the preauction licensing deadline prior to the incentive auction conducted under Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112– 96)). An applicant for a digital-to-digital replacement television translator may propose a de minimis expansion of its full power pre-auction digital service area upon demonstrating that the expansion is necessary to replace its digital loss area. (iv) The license for the analog-todigital and digital-to-digital replacement television translator will be associated with the full power station’s main license, will be assigned the same call sign, may not be separately assigned or transferred, and will be renewed with the full power station’s main license. (v) Analog-to-digital and digital-todigital replacement television translators may only operate on those television channels designated for broadcast television use following completion of the auctions conducted under Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112–96). (vi) Each original construction permit for the construction of an analog-todigital or digital-to-digital replacement television translator station shall specify a period of three years from the date of issuance of the original construction permit within which construction shall be completed and application for license filed. The provisions of § 74.788(c) of this chapter shall apply for stations seeking additional time to complete construction of their replacement television translator station. (vii) Applications for analog-to-digital and digital-to-digital replacement television translators shall be filed on FCC Form 346 and shall be treated as an application for minor change. Mutually VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Nov 26, 2014 Jkt 235001 exclusive applications shall be resolved via the Commission’s part 1 and broadcast competitive bidding rules, § 1.2100–§ 1.2114. and § 73.5000– § 73.5009 of this chapter. (viii) The following sections are applicable to analog-to-digital and digital-to-digital replacement television translator stations: § 73.1030 Notifications concerning interference to radio astronomy, research and receiving installations. § 74.703 Interference § 74.709 Land mobile station protection. § 74.734 Attended and unattended operation § 74.735 Power Limitations § 74. 751 Modification of transmission systems. § 74.763 Time of Operation § 74.765 Posting of station and operator licenses. § 74.769 Copies of rules. § 74.780 Broadcast regulations applicable to translators, low power, and booster stations (except § 73.653—Operation of TV aural and visual transmitters and § 73.1201— Station identification). § 74.781 Station records. § 74.784 Rebroadcasts. ■ 6. Amend § 74.788 by revising paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(3) and (d) to read as follows: § 74.788 Digital construction period. * * * * * (c) Authority delegated. (1) For the September 1, 2015 Class A television digital construction deadline, authority is delegated to the Chief, Media Bureau to grant an extension of time of up to six months beyond September 1, 2015 upon demonstration by the digital licensee or permittee that failure to meet the construction deadline is due to circumstances that are either unforeseeable or beyond the licensee’s control where the licensee has taken all reasonable steps to resolve the problem expeditiously. For the (insert new transition date) low power television and TV translator station digital construction deadline, authority is delegated to the Chief, Media Bureau to grant an extension of time of up to six months beyond (insert new transition date) upon demonstration by the digital licensee or permittee that failure to meet the construction deadline is due to circumstances that are either unforeseeable or beyond the licensee’s control where the licensee has taken all reasonable steps to resolve the problem expeditiously. * * * * * (3) Applications for extension of time filed by Class A television stations shall PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 be filed not later than May 1, 2015 absent a showing of sufficient reasons for late filing. Applications for extension of time filed by low power television and TV translator stations shall be filed not later than (insert new filing deadline) absent a showing of sufficient reasons for late filing. (d) For Class A television digital construction deadlines occurring after May 1, 2015, the tolling provisions of § 73.3598 of this chapter shall apply. For low power television and TV translator digital construction deadlines occurring after (insert new transition date), the tolling provisions of § 73.3598 of this chapter shall apply. * * * * * ■ 7. Add § 74.800 to read as follows § 74.800 Low power television channel sharing. (a) Channel sharing generally. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, low power television and TV translator stations may voluntarily seek Commission approval to share a single six megahertz channel with other low power television, TV translator, full power television and Class A television station. (2) Each station sharing a single channel pursuant to this section shall continue to be licensed and operated separately, have its own call sign and be separately subject to all of the Commission’s obligations, rules, and policies. (b) Licensing of channel sharing stations. The LPTV or TV translator channel sharing station relinquishing its channel must file an application for the initial channel sharing construction permit (FCC Form 346), include a copy of the channel sharing agreement as an exhibit, and cross reference the other sharing station(s). Any engineering changes necessitated by the channel sharing arrangement may be included in the station’s application. Upon initiation of shared operations, the station relinquishing its channel must notify the Commission that it has terminated operation pursuant to section 73.1750 of this part and each sharing station must file an application for license (FCC Form 347). (c) Deadline for implementing channel sharing arrangements. Channel sharing arrangements submitted pursuant to this section must be implemented within three years of the grant of the initial channel sharing construction permit. (d) Channel sharing agreements. (1) Channel sharing agreements submitted under this section must contain provisions outlining each licensee’s rights and responsibilities regarding: E:\FR\FM\28NOP1.SGM 28NOP1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 229 / Friday, November 28, 2014 / Proposed Rules (i) Access to facilities, including whether each licensee will have unrestrained access to the shared transmission facilities; (ii) Operation, maintenance, repair, and modification of facilities, including a list of all relevant equipment, a description of each party’s financial obligations, and any relevant notice provisions; and (iii) Termination or transfer/ assignment of rights to the shared licenses, including the ability of a new licensee to assume the existing CSA. (2) Channel sharing agreements submitted under this section must include a provision affirming compliance with the channel sharing requirements in this section including a provision requiring that each channel sharing licensee shall retain spectrum usage rights adequate to ensure a sufficient amount of the shared channel capacity to allow it to provide at least one Standard Definition (SD) program stream at all times. (e) Termination and assignment/ transfer of shared channel. If a channel sharing station’s license authorized under this section is terminated, the remaining channel sharing station or stations will continue to have rights to their portion(s) of the shared channel. The license(s) of the remaining channel sharing station(s) shall be modified to reflect that its channel is no longer shared with the terminated licensee. In the event that only one station remains on the shared channel, that station may request that the shared channel be redesignated as a non-shared channel or could enter into a CSA with another station and resume shared operations, subject to Commission approval. [FR Doc. 2014–27895 Filed 11–26–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712–01–P FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 20 [WT Docket No. 10–4; FCC 14–138] The Commission’s Rules To Improve Wireless Coverage Through the Use of Signal Boosters Federal Communications Commission ACTION: Further notice of proposed rulemaking. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS AGENCY: In the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission seeks comment on whether to retain the ‘‘personal use’’ restriction for ProviderSpecific Consumer Signal Boosters. SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Nov 26, 2014 Jkt 235001 Submit comments on or before December 29, 2014 and reply comments on or before January 20, 2015. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by WT Docket No. 10–4 or FCC 14–138, by any of the following methods: D Federal Communications Commission’s Web site: http:// fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. D Mail: FCC Headquarters, 445 12th St. SW., Washington, DC 20554. D People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: FCC504@fcc.gov or phone: (202) 418–0530 or TTY: (202) 418–0432. For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amanda Huetinck of the Mobility Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, at (202) 418–7090 or Amanda.Huetinck@fcc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is the Commission’s Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, in WT Docket No. 10–4, FCC 14–138, adopted September 19, 2014, and released September 23, 2014. The Order on Reconsideration that was adopted concurrently with the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. The full text of that document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY–A257, Washington, DC 20554, or by downloading the text from the Commission’s Web site at http:// www.fcc.gov/document/signal-boostersorder-reconsideration-and-fnprm. The complete text also may be purchased from the Commission’s duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Suite CY–B402, Washington, DC 20554. Pursuant to §§ 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission’s rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. Comments may be filed using the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998). D Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 70837 accessing the ECFS: http:// fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. D Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission’s Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission. D All hand-delivered or messengerdelivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St. SW., Room TW–A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of before entering the building. D Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743. D U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW., Washington DC 20554. People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202–418–0530 (voice), 202– 418–0432 (tty). Synopsis I. Introduction and Background 1. In this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we seek comment on whether to retain the ‘‘personal use’’ restriction for Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters. 2. The Commission released the Signal Boosters NPRM on April 6, 2011, whereby it proposed rules to facilitate the development and deployment of well-designed signal boosters. On February 20, 2013, in the Signal Boosters Report and Order (Report and Order), the Commission adopted the new regulatory framework to allow consumers to realize the benefits of using signal boosters while preventing, controlling, and, if necessary, resolving interference to wireless networks. In the Report and Order, the Commission E:\FR\FM\28NOP1.SGM 28NOP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 229 (Friday, November 28, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 70824-70837]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-27895]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Parts 15 and 74

[MB Docket No. 03-185; GN Docket No. 12-268; ET Docket No. 14-175; FCC 
14-151]


Low Power Television Digital Rules

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: In this Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Federal 
Communications Commission (Commission) seeks comment on a number of 
issues involving low power television (LPTV) and TV translator stations 
including measures to facilitate the final conversion of LPTV and TV 
translator stations to digital service and consider additional means to 
mitigate the potential impact of the incentive auction and the 
repacking process on LPTV and TV translator stations to help preserve 
the important services they provide.

DATES:  Comments Due: December 29, 2014. Reply Comments Due: January 
12, 2015. Written comments on the proposed information collection 
requirements, subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, 
Pub. L. 104-13, should be submitted on or before January 27, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by MB Docket No. 03-185, 
GN Docket No. 12-268 and ET Docket No. 14-175 and/or FCC 14-151, by any 
of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Federal Communications Commission's Web site: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, 
by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. 
Postal Service mail (although we continue to experience delays in 
receiving U.S. Postal Service mail.) All filings must be addressed to 
the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal 
Communications Commission.
     People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request 
reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language 
interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: FCC504@fcc.gov or phone: 202-418-
0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.
    For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional 
information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section of this document.
    In addition to filing comments with the Secretary, a copy of any 
PRA comments on the proposed collection requirements contained herein 
should be submitted to the Federal Communications Commission via email 
to PRA@fcc.gov and to Cathy.Williams@fcc.gov and also to Nicholas A. 
Fraser, Office of Management and Budget, via email to 
Nicholas_A._Fraser@omb.eop.gov or via fax at 202-395-5167.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shaun Maher, Shaun.Maher@fcc.gov of 
the Media Bureau, Video Division, (202) 418-2324. For additional 
information concerning the PRA information collection requirements 
contained in this document, contact Cathy Williams, Federal 
Communications Commission, at (202) 418-2918, or via email 
Cathy.Williams@fcc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Third 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 14-151, adopted October 9, 2014, in 
MB Docket No. 03-185 (Third NPRM). The Commission released its Notice 
of Proposed Rulemaking, 18 FCC Rcd 18365 (2003) in 2003 and Further 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 25 FCC Rcd 13833 (2010) in 2010. The 
full text of the Third NPRM is available for inspection and copying 
during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, 445 12th 
Street SW., Room CY-A257, Portals II, Washington, DC 20554, and may 
also be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, BCPI, Inc., 
Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. 
Customers may contact BCPI, Inc. via their Web site, http://www.bcpi.com, or call 1-800-378-3160. This document is available in 
alternative formats (computer diskette, large print, audio record, and 
Braille). Persons with disabilities who need documents in these formats 
may contact the FCC by email: FCC504@fcc.gov or phone: 202-418-0530 or 
TTY: 202-418-0432.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

    This Third NPRM contains proposed new and modified information 
collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing 
effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the information 
collection requirements contained in this document, as required by the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments should 
address: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is 
necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the 
Commission, including whether the information shall have practical 
utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimates; (c) 
ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information 
collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of 
information on the respondents,

[[Page 70825]]

including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of 
information technology; and (e) ways to further reduce the information 
collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 
employees. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief 
Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), the 
Commission seeks specific comment on how it might further reduce the 
information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer 
than 25 employees.
    PRA comments should be submitted to Cathy Williams, Federal 
Communications Commission via email at PRA@fcc.gov and 
Cathy.Williams@fcc.gov and Nicholas A. Fraser, Office of Management and 
Budget via fax at 202-395-5167 or via email to 
Nicholas_A._Fraser@omb.eop.gov.
    To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) 
submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the Web page http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain, (2) look for the section of the Web page called ``Currently 
Under Review,'' (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the 
``Select Agency'' box below the ``Currently Under Review'' heading, (4) 
select ``Federal Communications Commission'' from the list of agencies 
presented in the ``Select Agency'' box, (5) click the ``Submit'' button 
to the right of the ``Select Agency'' box, (6) when the list of FCC 
ICRs currently under review appears, look for the Title of this ICR and 
then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to 
OMB will be displayed.
    OMB Control Numbers: 3060-1100.
    Title: Section 15.117(k), TV Broadcast Receivers; section 
15.117(b), Elimination of Analog Tuner Requirement.
    Form Number: None.
    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.
    Respondents: Business or other for profit entities.
    Number of Respondents/Responses: 1,550; 5,550 responses.
    Estimated Hours per Response: 0.25-5 hrs.
    Frequency of Response: One time reporting requirement; Third party 
disclosure requirement.
    Total Annual Burden: 4,000 hours.
    Total Annual Cost: No cost.
    Obligation to Respond: Mandatory for the disclosure requirement and 
required to obtain or retain benefits for the other requirement. The 
statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 
sections 1, 2(a), 3(33) and (52), 4(i) and (j), 7, 154(i), 301, 303(r) 
and (s), 307, 308, 309, 336, 337 and 624(a) of the Communications Act 
of 1934, as amended.
    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for 
confidentiality with this collection of information.
    Privacy Act Assessment: No impact(s).
    Needs and Uses: In this Third NPRM, the Commission proposed 
eliminating the analog tuner requirement contained in Sec.  15.117(b) 
of the rules. Should it adopt its proposal, the Commission also 
proposed that broadcast receiver manufacturers and importers who market 
digital-only equipment to educate consumers and retailers about the 
devices' limits and capabilities to prevent consumer confusion.
    The information collection requirements that are contained in 47 
CFR 15.117(k) remain a part of this collection and it is not impacted 
by the Third NPRM. Therefore, it remains unchanged since the 
information collection requirements were last approved by OMB.
    OMB Control Numbers: 3060-0017.
    Title: Application for a Low Power TV, TV Translator or TV Booster 
Station License, FCC Form 347.
    Form Numbers: FCC Form 347.
    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.
    Respondents: Business or other for profit entities; Not for profit 
institutions; State, local or Tribal government.
    Number of Respondents/Responses: 550 respondents; 550 responses.
    Estimated Hours per Response: 1.5 hours per response.
    Frequency of Response: One time reporting requirement; On occasion 
reporting requirement.
    Total Annual Burden: 825 hours.
    Total Annual Cost: $66,446.
    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain benefits. The statutory 
authority for this information collection is contained in sections 
154(i), 301, 303, 307, 308 and 309 of the Communications Act of 1934, 
as amended.
    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for 
confidentiality with this collection of information.
    Privacy Act Assessment: No impact(s).
    Needs and Uses: In this Third NPRM, it is proposed that low power 
television and TV translator stations be permitted to share a channel. 
FCC Form 347 will be used to license channel sharing between these 
types of stations. This Third NPRM adopts the following proposed 
information collection requirements:
    The information collection requirements that are contained in 47 
CFR 74.800(b) (Licensing of Channel Sharing Stations) proposes to 
require that the LPTV or TV translator channel sharing station 
relinquishing its channel must file an application for the initial 
channel sharing construction permit (FCC Form 346), include a copy of 
the channel sharing agreement as an exhibit, and cross reference the 
other sharing station(s). Any engineering changes necessitated by the 
channel sharing arrangement may be included in the station's 
application. Upon initiation of shared operations, the station 
relinquishing its channel must notify the Commission that it has 
terminated operation pursuant to Sec.  73.1750 of this part and each 
sharing station must file an application for license (FCC Form 347). 
Therefore, FCC Form 347, Application for Low Power TV, TV Translator or 
TV Booster Station License, will be modified to allow applicants to 
propose that their stations be licensed on a shared basis.
    OMB Control Numbers: 3060-1086.
    Title: Section 74.787 Digital Licensing; Sec.  74.790, Permissible 
Service of Digital TV Translator and LPTV Stations; Sec.  74.794, 
Digital Emissions, and Sec.  74.796, Modification of Digital 
Transmission Systems and Analog Transmission Systems for Digital 
Operation; Sec.  74.798, LPTV Digital Transition Consumer Education 
Information, Protection of Analog LPTV.
    Form Number: Not applicable.
    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.
    Respondents: Business or other for profit entities; not for profit 
institutions; State, local or Tribal government.
    Number of Respondents/Responses: 8,445 respondents; 27,386 
responses.
    Estimated Hours per Response: 0.50-4 hours.
    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement; One-time 
reporting requirement; Third party disclosure requirement.
    Total Annual Burden: 56,386 hours.
    Total Annual Cost: $69,033,000.
    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The 
statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 
section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.
    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for 
confidentiality with this collection of information.
    Privacy Act Assessment: No impact(s).
    Needs and Uses: In this Third NPRM, the Commission proposed rules 
and policies for a digital-to-digital replacement digital replacement 
translator to permit full power television stations to continue to 
provide service to viewers that may have otherwise lost service as a 
result of the station being ``repacked'' in the

[[Page 70826]]

Commission's incentive auction process.
    Unlike other television translator licenses, the replacement 
digital television translator license will be associated with the full-
service station's main license and will have the same four letter call 
sign as its associated main station. As a result, a replacement digital 
television translator license may not be separately assigned or 
transferred and will be renewed or assigned along with the full-service 
station's main license. Almost all other rules associated with 
television translator stations are applied to replacement digital 
television translators.
    Moreover, the Third NPRM proposes an information collection 
requirement contained in 47 CFR 74.787(a)(5)(v). The proposed 
information collection requirements contained in proposed rule 47 CFR 
74.787(a)(5)(v) states that an application for a digital to digital 
replacement digital television translator may be filed by a full power 
television station that can demonstrate that a portion of its digital 
service area will not be served by its post-incentive auction digital 
facilities. The service area of the replacement digital television 
translators shall be limited to only a demonstrated loss area. However, 
an applicant for a replacement digital television translator may 
propose a de minimis expansion of its full power pre-incentive auction 
digital service area upon demonstrating that it is necessary to replace 
its post-incentive auction digital loss area.
    The information collection requirements that are contained in 47 
CFR 74.787(a)(2)(iii), (a)(3), (a)(4) and (a)(5)(i), 47 CFR 74.790(f), 
(e) and (g), 47 CFR 74.794, 47 CFR 74.796(b)(5) and 74.796(b)(6), 47 
CFR 74.798 and the protection of analog LPTV requirement remain a part 
of this information collection. The information collection requirements 
contained in these rule sections remain unchanged and FCC 14-151 did 
not impact on them.

Synopsis of Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    1. In this Third NPRM, the Commission considers measures to ensure 
the successful completion of the LPTV and TV translator digital 
transition, help preserve the important services LPTV and TV translator 
stations provide, and other related matters. Specifically, the 
Commission: (1) Tentatively concludes to extend the September 1, 2015 
digital transition deadline for LPTV and TV translator stations; (2) 
tentatively concludes to adopt rules to allow channel sharing by and 
between LPTV and TV translator stations; (3) tentatively concludes to 
create a ``digital-to-digital replacement translator'' service for full 
power stations that experience losses in their pre-auction service 
areas; (4) seeks comment on the proposed use of the incentive auction 
optimization model to assist LPTV and TV translator stations displaced 
by the auction and repacking process to identify new channels; (5) 
seeks comment on whether to permit digital LPTV stations to operate 
analog FM radio-type services on an ancillary or supplementary basis; 
and (6) seeks comment on whether to eliminate the requirement in Sec.  
15.117(b) of our rules that TV receivers include analog tuners. The 
Commission also invites input on any other measures it should consider 
to further mitigate the impact of the auction and repacking process on 
LPTV and TV translator stations.

Extending the September 1, 2015 LPTV and TV Translator Digital 
Transition Date

    2. The Commission tentatively concluded that it should postpone the 
September 1, 2015 deadline for LPTV and TV translator stations to 
transition to digital. The Commission concluded that it appears that 
the current LPTV and TV translator digital transition deadline may 
occur in close conjunction with the incentive auction, leaving LPTV and 
TV translator stations little or no time to consider its impact before 
having to complete their digital conversion. The Commission noted that, 
as of the release date of the Third NRPM, approximately 56% of LPTV and 
80% of TV translator stations have completed their transition to 
digital. However, 795 LPTV and 779 TV translator stations have not yet 
completed their conversion. Because a significant number of stations 
have yet to complete their transition to digital service, and with less 
than a year before the digital transition deadline, the Commission 
tentatively concluded that it should postpone the transition deadline 
in order to avoid requiring stations to incur the costs of digital 
transition before completion of the auction and repacking process, 
which is likely to impact a significant number of LPTV and TV 
translator stations. The Commission also sought input from the industry 
about why the remaining analog stations have not yet converted.
    3. The Commission noted that this proceeding concerns matters 
related only to LPTV and TV translator stations and not Class A 
television stations. Because Class A stations are not similarly 
impacted by the incentive auction and repacking process, the measures 
discussed In this Third NRPM to mitigate the impact on LPTV and TV 
translator stations, including extending the digital transition 
deadline, do not extend to Class A stations.
    4. Although the Commission tentatively concluded that postponement 
of the digital transition deadline is appropriate, it noted that, since 
the initiation of the digital television conversion process, the 
Commission has consistently sought to ensure an expedited and 
successful transition for all television services, so that the public 
will be able to enjoy the benefits of digital broadcast television 
technology. It sought comment on whether and how postponement of the 
low power transition date will impact these goals. In addition, it 
sought comment from existing LPTV and TV translator stations on the 
status of their conversion efforts and the additional costs they may 
have to incur should they have to ``double build'' their digital 
facilities. The Commission also invited comment from low power stations 
that have completed the conversion process regarding their experience 
and the extent of their current digital service offerings.
    5. Should it decide to adopt its tentative conclusion and postpone 
the September 1, 2015 transition date, the Commission sought comment on 
whether to establish a new deadline now or wait until after the 
incentive auction. The advantage of the latter approach would be to 
allow the Commission to examine the outcome of the incentive auction 
and take into account the overall impact of the repacking process on 
LPTV and TV translator stations before settling on a new transition 
date. Alternatively, prior to the auction, the Commission could 
establish a new transition date based on the record in this proceeding. 
That approach would provide LPTV and TV translator stations with more 
certainty about when the transition will end and might expedite 
completion of the digital transition. The Commission sought comment on 
the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches.
    6. If the Commission decides to set, prior to the auction, a new 
transition date, it sought comment on an appropriate new transition 
date. The Commission noted that LPTV and TV translator stations may 
have to wait several months after the conclusion of the incentive 
auction to determine whether they are displaced as well as the channel 
availability for displacement applications. The Commission sought 
comment on whether a postponement of the current deadline to twelve 
months after the close of the incentive auction would be

[[Page 70827]]

appropriate in order to further its goal of expediting the transition 
to digital for these services. The Commission also invited comment on 
alternative approaches and dates. Whatever the new deadline, the 
Commission announced that it intended that it will continue to be a 
``hard'' deadline and that all analog transmissions will be required to 
cease even if stations' digital facilities are not yet constructed.
    7. If the Commission extends the digital transition deadline for 
LPTV and TV translator stations, it proposed to make corresponding rule 
changes and to modify transition-related digital construction permits 
to effectuate any new transition date. In addition, the Commission 
proposed to modify the rules to continue to allow transitioning 
stations to request one ``last minute'' extension beyond the transition 
deadline of up to six months, so long as the request is filed at least 
four months before the new deadline and meets the other criteria in our 
current rule. As in the current rule, the Commission proposed that 
extension requests no longer be accepted after that deadline and that 
use of the tolling rule commence the following day. The Commission 
sought comment on these proposals.
    8. The Commission noted that the September 1, 2015 digital 
transition date does not apply to holders of unbuilt construction 
permits for new digital LPTV and TV translator stations. These permits 
are issued a three-year construction deadline at the time the initial 
construction permit is granted. Many of the more than 1,700 outstanding 
new digital LPTV and TV translator station permittees have been granted 
two extensions of time to construct by the Media Bureau staff and some 
have filed applications requesting a third extension of time. In order 
to treat these permittees similarly to the permittees of transitioning 
LPTV and TV translator stations, the Commission noted that, by a Public 
Notice that was released the same day, it had suspended the expiration 
date and construction deadlines of construction permits for new digital 
LPTV and TV translator stations pending final action in this 
proceeding. In the event the Commission extends the deadline for 
transitioning analog LPTV and TV translator stations in this 
proceeding, it tentatively concluded to extend the deadline for 
construction permits for new digital stations to conform their 
construction deadline to the new digital transition deadline. The 
Commission sought comment on this tentative conclusion.

LPTV and TV Translator Channel Sharing

    9. The Commission tentatively concluded that it should adopt rules 
to permit channel sharing by and between LPTV and TV translator 
stations, and sought comment on a variety of rules to implement channel 
sharing for these stations. The Commission tentatively concluded that 
such rules are permitted under its general authority in Title III of 
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.
    10. The Commission tentatively concluded that authorizing channel 
sharing between and among LPTV and TV translator stations would serve 
the public interest, and we sought comment on this tentative 
conclusion.
    11. Should the Commission decide to authorize channel sharing by 
and between LPTV and TV translator stations, it announced that channel 
sharing would be entirely voluntary. The Commission stated that it did 
not intend to be involved in the process of matching licensees 
interested in channel sharing with potential partners. Rather, LPTV and 
TV translator stations would decide for themselves whether and with 
whom to enter into a channel sharing arrangement. The Commission 
proposed to require all LPTV and TV translator stations to operate in 
digital on the shared channel and to retain spectrum usage rights 
sufficient to ensure at least enough capacity to operate one standard 
definition (``SD'') programming stream at all times. The Commission 
proposed to allow stations flexibility within this ``minimum capacity'' 
requirement to tailor their agreements and allow a variety of different 
types of spectrum sharing to meet the individualized programming and 
economic needs of the parties involved. The Commission will not propose 
to prescribe a fixed split of the capacity of the six megahertz channel 
between the stations from a technological or licensing perspective and 
that all channel sharing stations be licensed for the entire capacity 
of the six megahertz channel and that the stations be allowed to 
determine the manner in which that capacity will be divided among 
themselves subject only to the minimum capacity requirement.
    12. The Commission proposed to retain its existing policy framework 
for the licensing and operation of channel sharing LPTV and TV 
translator stations. Under this policy, despite sharing a single 
channel and transmission facility, each station would continue to be 
licensed separately. Each station would have its own call sign, and 
each licensee would separately be subject to all of the Commission's 
obligations, rules, and policies. The Commission sought comment on 
these proposals.
    13. The Commission proposed a licensing scheme for reviewing and 
approving channel sharing between LPTV and TV translator stations that 
differs from the one adopted for full power and Class A stations. 
Because the implementation of a channel sharing arrangement does not 
involve construction that requires Commission pre-approval, and because 
channel sharing arrangements involving full power and Class A stations 
will have been reviewed already in conjunction with the stations 
submitting bids in the incentive auction, the Commission found that 
there was no need for such stations to go through a two-step process by 
first applying for construction permits to implement their channel 
sharing proposals and then filing for new shared licenses. In contrast, 
LPTV and TV translator stations will not have already participated in 
the incentive auction, and the Commission will not have had an 
opportunity to review their proposed channel sharing arrangements, 
including any technical changes to the stations' facilities. Therefore, 
the Commission proposed the following two-step process for implementing 
channel sharing between LPTV and TV translator stations that addresses 
the particularities of the low power television service while 
minimizing costs and burdens in order to encourage channel sharing 
among these stations.
    14. As the first step, if no technical changes are necessary for 
sharing, a channel sharing station relinquishing its channel would file 
an application for digital construction permit (FCC Form 346) for the 
same technical facilities as the sharer station, including a copy of 
the channel sharing agreement (``CSA'') as an exhibit, and cross 
reference the other sharing station(s). In this case, the sharer 
station would not need to take action at this time. If the CSA required 
technical changes to the sharer station's facilities, each sharing 
station would file an application for construction permit for identical 
technical facilities proposing to share the channel, along with the 
CSA. As a second step, after the sharing stations have obtained the 
necessary construction permits, implemented their shared facility and 
initiated shared operations, a station relinquishing its channel would 
notify the Commission that it has terminated operation on that channel. 
At the same time, sharing stations would file applications for license 
(FCC Form 347) to complete the licensing process. The

[[Page 70828]]

Commission sought comment on these proposed procedures.
    15. The Commission comment on an appropriate length of time for 
channel sharing LPTV and TV translator stations to implement their 
arrangements. The Commission required that channel sharing arrangements 
involving full power and Class A stations in the incentive auction be 
implemented within three months after the relinquishing station 
receives its reverse auction proceeds. While the Commission found that 
this deadline would expedite the transition to the reorganized UHF 
band, it does believe it is necessary to set a similar deadline for 
LPTV and TV translator stations to implement their channel sharing 
arrangements. Therefore, the Commission sought comment on whether to 
allow channel sharing stations the standard three-year construction 
period under the rules to implement their sharing deals. It stated that 
it expected that many stations will not need a full three-year time 
period. Indeed, some LPTV and TV translator stations displaced by the 
repacking process and forced to go silent will need to resume 
operations within twelve months to avoid automatic cancellation of 
their license pursuant to section 312(g) of the Communications Act. 
Finding a channel sharing partner and resuming operations on a shared 
facility within the twelve months could be an important way for 
displaced stations to avoid automatic cancellation of their license. 
Other stations not facing this timing constraint may want or need more 
time to implement their new shared facilities. The Commission sought 
comment on this issue.
    16. The Commission also sought comment on whether to apply existing 
restrictions on relocation proposals to LPTV and TV translator channel 
sharing arrangements. LPTV and TV translator stations may need 
flexibility in their ability to move their facilities in order to take 
advantage of channel sharing. Specifically, LPTV and TV translator 
stations may need to propose to relocate to a shared transmission site 
that is several miles from the location of their current transmission 
site. However, under our current rules, LPTV and TV translator stations 
filing a minor change application may not propose a move of their 
transmitter site of greater than 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the 
reference coordinates of the existing station's antenna location. In 
addition, LPTV and TV translator stations may file a minor change 
application only if there is contour overlap between the proposed and 
existing facilities. The Commission sought comment on whether continued 
application of these limitations is necessary and appropriate or 
whether their application in the context of channel sharing 
modifications would unduly limit channel sharing between LPTV and TV 
translator stations. Alternatively, should these restrictions be waived 
in certain cases to allow LPTV and TV translators more flexibility in 
their channel sharing arrangements, and if so, under what 
circumstances?
    17. The Commission proposed to adopt ``channel sharing operating 
rules'' similar to those adopted for full power and Class A television 
stations in the Incentive Auction Report and Order with respect to the 
terms of CSAs, as well as the transfer or assignment of channel sharing 
licenses. The Commission proposed a different approach, however, when a 
channel sharing station's license is terminated due to voluntary 
relinquishment, revocation, or failure to renew.
    18. CSAs for full power and/or Class A stations must include 
provisions governing certain key aspects of their operations. In so 
requiring, the Commission recognized that channel sharing will create 
new and complex relationships, and sought to avoid disputes that could 
lead to a disruption in service to the public and to ensure that each 
licensee is able to fulfill its independent obligation to comply with 
all pertinent statutory requirements and our rules. At the same time, 
the Commission noted that it ordinarily does not become involved in 
private contractual agreements and that it does not wish to discourage 
channel sharing relationships.
    19. The Commission tentatively concluded that the same requirements 
are warranted in the context of LPTV and TV translator channel sharing. 
As with full power and Class A sharing arrangements, the Commission 
believes this approach will protect the public interest and ensure the 
success of channel sharing with minimal intrusion into channel sharing 
relationships. Therefore, it proposed that LPTV and TV translator CSAs 
be required to contain provisions outlining each licensee's rights and 
responsibilities in the following areas: (1) Access to facilities, 
including whether each licensee will have unrestrained access to the 
shared transmission facilities; (2) allocation of bandwidth within the 
shared channel; (3) operation, maintenance, repair, and modification of 
facilities, including a list of all relevant equipment, a description 
of each party's financial obligations, and any relevant notice 
provisions; and (4) termination or transfer/assignment of rights to the 
shared licenses, including the ability of a new licensee to assume the 
existing CSA. The Commission proposed to reserve the right to review 
CSA provisions and require modification of any that do not comply with 
these requirements or the Commission's rules. The Commission sought 
comment on these proposals.
    20. The Commission sought comment on a streamlined approach to the 
situation in which an LPTV or TV translator channel sharing station's 
license is terminated due to voluntary relinquishment, revocation, 
failure to renew, or any other circumstance. Under the proposed 
approach, where an LPTV or TV translator sharing station's license is 
terminated, the Commission would modify the license(s) of the remaining 
channel sharing station(s) to reflect that its channel is no longer 
shared with the terminated licensee. In the event that only one station 
remains on the shared channel, that station could request that the 
shared channel be re-designated as a non-shared channel or could enter 
into a CSA with another LPTV or TV translator station and resume shared 
operations, subject to Commission approval. This approach differs from 
the approach the Commission adopted for full power and Class A 
television channel sharing arrangements in order to reduce the cost and 
burden to LPTV and TV translator stations and to encourage channel 
sharing among these stations.
    21. In addition, the Commission proposes to allow rights under a 
CSA to be assigned or transferred, subject to the requirements of 
section 310 of the Communications Act, the Commission's rules, and the 
requirement that the assignee or transferee comply with the applicable 
CSA. The Commission sought comment on the above proposals and on any 
alternative approaches it should consider.
    22. Should the Commission adopt rules authorizing channel sharing 
for LPTV and TV translator stations, it sought comment on whether to 
permit these stations to channel share with full power and Class A 
television stations as well. The Commission sought comment on the 
feasibility of allowing channel sharing between primary (full power and 
Class A) and secondary (LPTV and TV translator) services, each of which 
operate with differing power levels and interference protection rights. 
In the Incentive Auction Report and Order, the Commission allowed 
channel sharing between full power and Class A television stations 
despite the fact that each operate with different technical rules. It 
concluded that the Class A television station sharing a full power

[[Page 70829]]

television station's channel after the incentive auction would be 
permitted to operate under the part 73 rules governing power levels and 
interference. To facilitate channel sharing and further assist 
displaced LPTV and TV translator stations to find a new channel, the 
Commission sought comment on whether to allow LPTV and TV translator 
stations that share a full power or Class A television station's 
channel to similarly operate under the rules governing power levels and 
interference for full power and Class A television stations. In the 
unlikely event a full power or Class A television station proposes to 
share an LPTV or TV translator station's channel, the Commission 
proposes that the full power or Class A station would be subject to the 
power level and interference protection rules associated with the 
channel of the LPTV or TV translator station. The Commission sought 
comment on these proposals, including any regulatory difficulties that 
would result from channel sharing between a full power or Class A 
television station and an LPTV or TV translator station.

Creation of a New Digital-to-Digital Replacement Translator Service

    23. The Commission proposes to establish a new ``digital-to-
digital'' replacement translator service that will allow eligible full 
power television stations to recover lost digital service area that 
results from the reverse auction and repacking process. The Commission 
tentatively concluded that eligibility for the digital-to-digital 
replacement translator service should be limited to those full power 
television stations whose channels are changed following the incentive 
auction that can demonstrate that (1) a portion of their pre-auction 
service area will not be served by the facilities on their new channel, 
and (2) the proposed digital-to-digital replacement translator will be 
used solely to fill in such loss areas. The Commission sought comment 
on this tentative conclusion.
    24. The Commission proposed to limit the service area of digital-
to-digital replacement translators to digital loss areas resulting from 
the reverse auction and repacking process. To implement this 
restriction, it proposed to require applicants for a digital-to-digital 
replacement translator to demonstrate a digital loss area through an 
engineering study that depicts the station's pre- and post-incentive 
auction digital service areas. The Commission tentatively concluded 
that ``pre-auction digital service area'' should be defined as the 
geographic area within the full power station's noise-limited contour 
(of its facility licensed by the pre-auction licensing deadline). The 
Commission recognized that, due to the lack of available transmitter 
sites, it may be impossible or extremely costly for stations to locate 
a translator that replaces digital loss areas without also slightly 
expanding their pre-auction digital service areas. The Commission 
stated that it believed a better approach would be to allow applicants 
to propose de minimis expansions of pre-auction digital service areas 
on a showing that the expansions are necessary to replace service area 
lost as a result of their new channel assignments. To demonstrate 
necessity, the Commission proposed that stations be required to show 
that it is not possible to site a digital-to-digital replacement 
translator without de minimis expansion of the station's pre-auction 
digital service area. Further, it proposed to define de minimis on a 
case-by-case basis, consistent with the approach it took for processing 
analog to digital replacement translator applications. The Commission 
sought comment on these proposals.
    25. The Commission also sought comment on the appropriate timing 
for the availability of this proposed new service. Specifically, the 
Commission proposed that the opportunity to apply for a digital-to-
digital replacement translator be limited, commencing with the opening 
of the post-auction LPTV and TV translator displacement window and 
ending one year after the completion of the 39-month post-incentive 
auction transition period. Under this proposal, stations could begin 
applying for digital-to-digital replacement translators during the LPTV 
and TV translator displacement window and would then have one year 
beyond the completion of the post-auction transition period to identify 
the need and apply for a digital-to-digital replacement translator. The 
Commission stated that it believed this proposed deadline will provide 
full power television stations sufficient time to identify any possible 
loss areas that result from their new channel assignments while also 
helping to limit this service to its proposed objective of replacing a 
loss that results from the reverse auction and repacking process. The 
Commission sought comment on this proposal and on any alternative 
commencement and expiration dates it should consider.
    26. The Commission proposed to afford applications for new digital-
to-digital replacement translators co-equal processing priority with 
displacement applications for existing DRTs that are displaced as a 
result of the auction and repacking process. The Commission proposed 
co-equal processing treatment of these two types of applications to 
meet two goals. First, we seek to assist those full power stations that 
need a new digital-to-digital replacement translator to quickly obtain 
an authorization and schedule construction to coincide with the 
completion of their repacked facilities. The Commission also recognized 
that full power stations with existing DRTs that are displaced by the 
repacking process will need to construct on their new channel to help 
preserve their existing service. Therefore, to balance these two goals, 
it proposed that applications for new digital-to-digital replacement 
translators be afforded a co-equal processing priority with 
displacement applications for existing DRTs in cases of mutual 
exclusivity.
    27. The Commission also proposed that both applications for new 
digital-to-digital replacement translators and displacement 
applications for existing DRTs would have processing priority over all 
other LPTV and TV translator applications including new, minor change 
and displacement applications. Under this approach, the Commission 
would begin to accept applications for new digital-to-digital 
replacement translators commencing with the opening of the post-auction 
LPTV and TV translator displacement window. All applications for new 
digital-to-digital replacement translators and displacement 
applications for existing DRTs filed during the post-auction 
displacement window would be considered filed on the last day of the 
window, would have priority over all other displacement applications 
filed during the window by LPTV and TV translator stations, and would 
be considered co-equal if mutually exclusive. Following the close of 
the displacement window, applications for new digital-to-digital 
replacement translators would be accepted on a first-come, first-served 
basis, would continue to have priority over all LPTV and TV translator 
new, minor change or displacement applications, even if first-filed, 
and co-equal priority with applications for displacement applications 
for existing DRTs filed on the same day. The Commission sought comment 
on these proposals and requested input on any alternative approaches it 
should consider.
    28. The Commission sought comment on a number of proposed licensing 
and operating rules for digital-to-digital replacement translators 
analogous to those the Commission adopted for analog to digital 
replacement translators in 2009. Although the Commission

[[Page 70830]]

tentatively concluded that the same rules would be appropriate, it 
welcomed input regarding why a different approach might be preferable 
in this context and any alternative proposals.
    29. The Commission proposed that the digital-to-digital replacement 
translator license could not be separately assigned or transferred and 
would be renewed, transferred, or assigned along with the main license. 
The Commission also proposed that applications for digital-to-digital 
replacement translators be filed on FCC Form 346, be treated as minor 
change applications, and be exempt from filing fees. The Commission 
proposed that digital-to-digital replacement translator stations be 
licensed with ``secondary'' frequency use status. Under this approach, 
these translators would not be permitted to cause interference to, and 
must accept interference from, full power television stations, certain 
land mobile radio operations, and other primary services, and would be 
subject to the interference protections to land mobile station 
operations in the 470- 512 MHz band set forth in the rules.
    30. The Commission proposed to apply the existing rules associated 
with television translator stations to digital-to-digital replacement 
translators, including the rules concerning power limits, out-of-
channel emission limits, unattended operation, time of operation, and 
resolution of mutual exclusivity. The Commission also proposed to 
assign digital-to-digital replacement translators the same call sign as 
their associated full power television station.
    31. The Commission proposed that stations be given a full three-
year construction period to build their digital-to-digital replacement 
translators. The Commission believes that a full three-year period for 
completion of replacement translator facilities will help to ensure the 
successful implementation of this new service. Among other things, the 
Commission believes it will allow stations that are reassigned to new 
channels in the repacking process, some of which will have 39 months to 
complete construction of their post-auction facilities, to schedule 
construction of their replacement translator to coincide with the 
completion of their full power facilities. The Commission is concerned 
that a shorter construction period could discourage licensees from 
taking advantage of their processing priority by applying for digital-
to-digital replacement translators at the earliest possible time.
    32. The Commission tentatively concluded that allowing the 
licensing of new analog-to-digital replacement translators is no longer 
necessary and proposed to no longer accept applications for such 
facilities. Given the length of time that has passed since the digital 
transition deadline, the Commission believes any future applications 
will be unnecessary for stations to replace an analog loss area that 
occurred as a result of the digital transition. The Commission sought 
comment on this tentative conclusion.

Assistance to LPTV and TV Translator Stations in Finding Displacement 
Channels After the Incentive Auction

    33. The Commission stated that it believes that the availability of 
the repacking and optimization software may provide a unique 
opportunity for the Commission to assist with the challenges displaced 
LPTV and TV translator stations face in finding new channel homes. The 
Commission sought comment on the use of these software tools to 
facilitate the relocation of displaced low power stations. In 
particular, because it is likely that a number of low power stations 
will be displaced from UHF channels, the Commission sought comment on 
whether and, if so how, our optimization software could facilitate the 
ability of low power stations to relocate to VHF channels where UHF 
channels are unavailable. One possibility is that, prior to opening the 
special window for LPTV and TV translator stations affected by the 
repacking process to file displacement applications, the Media Bureau 
could utilize the optimization model to identify market areas where all 
displaced LPTV and TV translator stations can be accommodated onto new 
channels. For such markets, the Media Bureau would issue a Public 
Notice listing potential channel assignments for displaced low power 
stations. Displaced low power stations would be encouraged to file for 
those channels in the displacement window. In cases where not all LPTV 
and TV translator stations can be accommodated onto new channels using 
current operating parameters, the Media Bureau could use the software 
to identify possible arrangements based on other objectives, such as 
maximizing the number of stations assigned or minimizing the 
interference that stations might experience, to assist stations in 
examining engineering solutions to find channels. In addition, the 
Commission seek comment on alternative methods for efficiently 
assigning the spectrum that will remain available post-auction for LPTV 
and TV translator stations.
    34. The Commission emphasized that stations' decision to seek 
channel assignments recommended by the Media Bureau as a result of 
using repacking and optimization software or another method to assist 
with the displacement process would be voluntary. It does not propose 
to require stations to accept channel assignments identified by the 
Media Bureau. It intends that these stations continue to be permitted 
to seek displacement channels that work best for their particular 
circumstances, so long as the channel selections comply with our 
licensing and technical rules. The Commission sought comment on these 
proposals.

Operation of Analog Radio Services by Digital LPTV Stations as 
Ancillary or Supplementary Services

    35. The Commission sought comment on whether to allow LPTV stations 
on digital television channel 6 (82-88 MHz) to operate analog FM radio-
type services on an ancillary or supplementary basis pursuant to Sec.  
73.624(c) of the rules. Currently, some analog LPTV stations licensed 
on channel 6 are operating with very limited visual programming and an 
audio signal that is programmed like a radio station. FM radio 
listeners are able to receive the audio portion of these LPTV stations 
at 87.76 MHz, which is adjacent to noncommercial educational (NCE) FM 
channel 201 (88.1 MHz). When these LPTV stations convert to digital, 
however, they are unable to continue providing such radio service 
because the digital audio portion of their signal can no longer be 
received by standard FM receivers. LPTV stations have been proposing 
engineering solutions to allow their continued FM radio-type operation 
following their conversion to digital. For example, a station has 
proposed using a single transmitter that allows a digital visual and 
audio stream, as well as a separate analog audio transmission, to 
simultaneously operate a digital LPTV station on channel 6 and an 
analog FM radio-type service at 87.76 MHz. Under this proposal, the 
Commission would treat the analog FM audio transmission as an 
``ancillary or supplementary'' service offering under Sec.  74.790(i) 
of the Commission's rules, which provides that ``a digital LPTV station 
may offer services of any nature, consistent with the public interest, 
convenience, and necessity, on an ancillary or supplementary basis in 
accordance with the provisions of Sec.  73.624(c). . . .'' Section 
73.624(c) in turn provides that: The kinds of services that may be 
provided include, but are not limited to

[[Page 70831]]

computer software distribution, data transmissions, teletext, 
interactive materials, aural messages, paging services, audio signals, 
subscription video, and any other services that do not derogate DTV 
broadcast stations' obligations under paragraph (b) of this section.
    36. The Commission seeks comment on whether to permit LPTV stations 
on digital television channel 6 (82-88 MHz) to operate dual digital and 
analog transmission systems in this manner. These stations are low 
power television stations and, following the eventual transition, will 
be operating solely in digital. The Commission sought comment on 
whether a digital LPTV station can provide an analog FM radio-type 
service as an ancillary or supplementary service consistent with the 
Communications Act and our rules.
    37. The Commission sought comment on the potential for a digital 
LPTV station's analog FM radio-type service to interfere with or 
disrupt the LPTV station's digital TV service. Section 336(b)(2) of the 
Act provides that the Commission shall ``limit the broadcasting of 
ancillary or supplementary services on designated frequencies so as to 
avoid derogation of any advanced television services, including high 
definition television broadcasts, that the Commission may require using 
such frequencies.'' Would a digital LPTV station be able to operate an 
analog transmitter without interfering or derogating its co-channel 
digital operation?
    38. In addition, the Commission sought comment on the potential of 
interference to other primary licensees. Because an LPTV station 
operates on a secondary interference basis, the provision of an 
ancillary or supplementary service by the station must also be on a 
secondary basis. Therefore, it must protect the operations of all 
primary licensees. LPTV stations on channel 6 are second and third 
adjacent to FM channels 201 and 202, which are licensed on a primary 
basis for NCE FM radio operations. The Commission sought comment on the 
potential for interference from digital LPTV stations' ancillary or 
supplementary analog FM radio-type operations to primary licensees, 
including NCE FM radio stations. It also sought comment on what rules 
we might adopt to prevent such interference. If it permits such 
operations, should the Commission prohibit any overlap between the 100 
dBu interfering contour of the channel 6 LPTV station and the 60 dBu 
protected contour of the NCE FM station? In addition, should the 
Commission propose that if the operation of the LPTV station causes any 
actual interference to the transmission of any authorized FM broadcast 
station, the LPTV station would be required to eliminate the 
interference or immediately suspend operations? Would such a 
prohibition of contour overlap adequately prevent interference to 
primary licensees including NCE FM stations?
    39. If the Commission decides to permit analog FM radio-type 
operations by LPTV stations on an ancillary or supplementary basis, it 
sought comment on whether such operations should be subject to the part 
73 rules applicable to FM radio stations. Section 336(b)(3) of the 
Communications Act mandates that the Commission ``apply to any other 
ancillary or supplementary service such of the Commission's regulations 
as are applicable to the offering of analogous services by any other 
person . . . .'' The Commission sought comment on whether the analog FM 
radio-type service discussed herein is ``analogous to other services 
subject to regulation by the Commission'' within the meaning of section 
336(b)(3) and the Commission's implementing rules and, if so, on which 
of the part 73 rules should apply to the offering of an analog FM 
radio-type service.
    40. Finally, should the Commission permit the provision of an 
analog FM radio-type service on an ancillary or supplementary basis, it 
sought comment on whether that service would be subject to a five 
percent fee. The ancillary and supplementary rule provides that digital 
television stations ``must annually remit a fee of five percent of the 
gross revenues derived from all ancillary and supplementary services . 
. . which are feeable . . . .'' ``Feeable'' services are defined as 
``[a]ll ancillary or supplementary services for which payment of a 
subscription fee or charge is required in order to receive the 
service.'' ``Feeable'' services are also defined as ``[a]ny ancillary 
or supplementary service for which no payment is required from 
consumers in order to receive the service . . . if the DTV licensee 
directly or indirectly receives compensation from a third party in 
return for the transmission of material provided by that third party 
(other than commercial advertisements used to support broadcasting for 
which a subscription fee is not required).'' The FM radio-type services 
provided by LPTV stations, thus far, appear to have been available to 
the general public without subscription. Given these definitions, the 
Commission sought comment on whether, and under what circumstances, an 
LPTV station's ancillary or supplementary analog FM radio service 
should be deemed ``feeable'' and subject to the five percent fee.

Elimination of Analog Tuner Requirement

    41. The Commission sought comment on a proposed change to Sec.  
15.117(b) of our rules that would eliminate any obligation to integrate 
analog tuners in TV receivers. This proposed modification would allow 
TV broadcast receiver manufacturers and importers to ship and import 
devices without analog tuners before all LPTV and TV translator 
stations cease analog broadcasting, but would continue to require those 
devices to be able to receive all digital broadcast TV channels. The 
Commission asked if it should eliminate the analog tuner requirement 
before all broadcast TV stations cease broadcasting in analog. The 
Commission sought comment on the costs to manufacturers of continuing 
to build analog tuners into their devices in comparison with the 
benefits to consumers. If the Commission eliminates the analog tuner 
requirement, it sought comment on whether to modify Sec.  15.117 to 
remove requirements that apply to analog tuners.
    42. In its waiver orders, the Media Bureau also conditioned the 
waivers on the recipients' voluntary commitments to educate consumers 
and retailers about the devices' limits and capabilities to prevent 
consumer confusion. If the Commission adopts its proposal, it sought 
comment on whether to impose similar consumer protection or education 
measures on broadcast receiver manufacturers and importers who market 
digital-only equipment prior to the LPTV and TV translator digital 
transition deadline. If so, should such measures only be required for a 
defined period of time? Or would such requirements be unnecessary 
because the effect on consumers by the time any elimination would 
become effective will be ``de minimis''? The Commission sought comment 
on its statutory authority to adopt consumer protection or education 
measures and on any other issues related to our analog tuner rule that 
we should consider.

Additional Measures To Preserve LPTV and TV Translator Services

    43. Finally, the Commission sought comment on additional measures 
it should consider in order to mitigate the impact of the incentive 
auction on LPTV and TV translator stations and to help preserve the 
important services they provide. Commenters proposing other measures 
for consideration should identify the legal authority to take the

[[Page 70832]]

proposed measures and describe in detail any perceived benefits and 
disadvantages of the measures advocated.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended 
(``RFA'') \1\ the Commission has prepared this present Initial 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (``IRFA'') concerning the possible 
significant economic impact on small entities by the policies and rules 
proposed in this Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 14-151, 
adopted October 9, 2014 in MB Docket No. 03-185 (Third NPRM). Written 
public comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be identified 
as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines for 
comments indicated on the first page of the Third NPRM. The Commission 
will send a copy of the Third NPRM including this IRFA, to the Chief 
Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA).\2\ In 
addition, the Third NPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be 
published in the Federal Register.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See 5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. 601 et. seq., has 
been amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness 
Act of 1996 (``SBREFA''), Pub. L. 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 847 
(1996). The SBREFA was enacted as Title II of the Contract With 
America Advancement Act of 1996 (``CWAAA'').
    \2\ See 5 U.S.C. 603(a).
    \3\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Need for and Objectives of the Proposed Rules

    On June 2, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) 
released its Incentive Auction Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd 657 (2014), 
adopting rules to implement the broadcast television spectrum incentive 
auction authorized by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act 
(Spectrum Act). The Commission recognized in the Incentive Auction 
Report and Order that the incentive auction will have a significant 
impact on low power television stations and TV translator stations. As 
part of the incentive auction, the Commission will (1) conduct a 
``reverse auction,'' whereby full power and Class A television stations 
may opt to relinquish some or all of their spectrum usage rights in 
exchange for incentive payments, and (2) reorganize or ``repack'' the 
broadcast television bands in order to free up a portion of the ultra 
high frequency (UHF) band for new flexible uses. The Commission 
concluded in the Incentive Auction Report and Order that the Spectrum 
Act does not mandate the protection of LPTV and TV translator stations 
because the scope of mandatory protection under section 6403(b)(2) is 
limited to full power and Class A television stations. The Commission 
also declined to extend discretionary protection to these stations 
because of the detrimental impact such protection would have on the 
repacking process and the success of the incentive auction. 
Accordingly, some LPTV and TV translator stations will be displaced as 
a result of the repacking process and required to either find a new 
channel or discontinue operations.
    In order to mitigate the impact of the auction and repacking 
process on LPTV and TV translator stations, the Commission stated that 
it intended to initiate an LPTV/TV Translator rulemaking proceeding 
``to consider additional measures that may help alleviate the 
consequences of LPTV and TV translator station displacements resulting 
from the auction and repacking process. In this Third NPRM, the 
Commission considers the measures discussed in the Incentive Auction 
Report and Order as well as other measures to ensure the successful 
completion of the LPTV and TV translator digital transition and the 
continued viability of these services.
    In this Third NPRM, the Commission seeks comment on whether to 
extend the September 1, 2015 digital transition deadline for LPTV and 
TV translator stations. Because a significant number of stations have 
yet to complete their transition to digital service, and with less than 
a year before the digital transition deadline, the Commission believes 
that it is appropriate to reconsider whether the deadline should be 
postponed in light of the projected timing of its incentive auction. 
The Commission seeks comment on an appropriate new transition date and 
whether to revise its related rules to accommodate the change.
    The Commission also tentatively concludes to adopt rules to permit 
channel sharing by and between LPTV and TV translator stations, and 
seeks comment on a variety of rules to implement channel sharing for 
these stations. The Commission's existing channel sharing rules apply 
only to full power and Class A stations bidding in the incentive 
auction. The Commission now considers creating channel sharing rules 
for LPTV and TV translator stations outside of the auction context.
    The Commission also tentatively concludes to create a ``digital-to-
digital replacement translator'' service for full power stations that 
are reassigned to new channels in the incentive auction, either in the 
repacking process and or through a winning UHF-to-VHF or high-VHF-to-
low-VHF bid, if those full power stations discover that a portion of 
their existing pre-auction service area will no longer be able to 
receive service after the station transitions to its new channel. The 
Commission seeks comment on various rules and policies to implement the 
new digital-to-digital replacement translator service.
    In this Third NPRM, the Commission seeks comment on a proposed use 
of the incentive auction optimization model to assist LPTV and TV 
translator stations displaced by the incentive auction repacking 
process to identify new channels.
    The Commission also seeks comment on whether to permit digital LPTV 
stations to operate analog FM radio-type services on an ancillary or 
supplementary basis. Currently, some analog LPTV stations licensed on 
channel 6 are operating with very limited visual programming and an 
audio signal that is programmed like a radio station. FM radio 
listeners are able to receive the audio portion of these LPTV stations 
at 87.76 MHz, which is adjacent to noncommercial educational (NCE) FM 
channel 201 (88.1 MHz). When these LPTV stations convert to digital, 
however, they are unable to continue providing such radio service 
because the digital audio portion of their signal can no longer be 
received by standard FM receivers. Anticipating the end of their FM 
radio-type operations, LPTV stations have been proposing engineering 
solutions to allow their continued operation following their conversion 
to digital. The Commission seeks comment on whether to permit LPTV 
stations to operate dual digital and analog transmission systems in 
this manner and whether the provision of an analog FM radio-type 
service is what Congress intended when it passed the 1996 Telecom Act 
to allow digital television stations, including LPTV stations, to offer 
ancillary or supplementary services.
    In this Third NPRM, the Commission seeks comment on whether to 
eliminate the requirement in Sec.  15.117(b) of our rules that TV 
receivers include analog tuners. This proposed modification would allow 
TV broadcast receiver manufacturers and importers to build and import 
devices without analog tuners before all LPTV and TV translator 
stations cease analog broadcasting, but would continue to require those 
devices to be able to receive all digital broadcast TV channels.
    Finally, the Commission invites input on any other measures it 
should

[[Page 70833]]

consider to further mitigate the impact of the auction and repacking 
process on LPTV and TV translator stations.

Legal Basis

    The authority for the action proposed in this rulemaking is 
contained in sections 1, 4(i) and (j), 5(c)(1), 7, 301, 302, 303, 307, 
308, 309, 312, 316, 319, 324, 332, 336, and 337 of the Communications 
Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C 151, 154(i) and (j), 155(c)(1), 157, 301, 302, 
303, 307, 308, 309, 312, 316, 319, 324, 332, 336, and 337.

Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the 
Proposed Rules Will Apply

    The RFA directs the Commission to provide a description of and, 
where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that will 
be affected by the proposed rules, if adopted.\4\ The RFA generally 
defines the term ``small entity'' as having the same meaning as the 
terms ``small business,'' ``small organization,'' and ``small 
government jurisdiction.'' \5\ In addition, the term ``small business'' 
has the same meaning as the term ``small business concern'' under the 
Small Business Act.\6\ A small business concern is one which: (1) Is 
independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of 
operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the 
SBA.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Id. at 603(b)(3).
    \5\ 5 U.S.C. 601(6).
    \6\ Id. at 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of 
``small business concern'' in 15 U.S.C. 632). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies 
``unless an agency, after consultation with the Office of Advocacy 
of the Small Business Administration and after opportunity for 
public comment, establishes one or more definitions of such term 
which are appropriate to the activities of the agency and publishes 
such definition(s) in the Federal Register.'' 5 U.S.C. 601(3).
    \7\ 15 U.S.C. 632. Application of the statutory criteria of 
dominance in its field of operation and independence are sometimes 
difficult to apply in the context of broadcast television. 
Accordingly, the Commission's statistical account of television 
stations may be over-inclusive.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Television Broadcasting. This economic census category ``comprises 
establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting images together with 
sound. These establishments operate television broadcasting studios and 
facilities for the programming and transmission of programs to the 
public.'' \8\ The SBA has created the following small business size 
standard for Television Broadcasting firms: Those having $14 million or 
less in annual receipts.\9\ The Commission has estimated the number of 
licensed commercial television stations to be 1,387.\10\ In addition, 
according to Commission staff review of the BIA Advisory Services, 
LLC's Media Access Pro Television Database on March 28, 2012, about 950 
of an estimated 1,300 commercial television stations (or approximately 
73 percent) had revenues of $14 million or less.\11\ We therefore 
estimate that the majority of commercial television broadcasters are 
small entities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 NAICS Definitions: 515120 
Television Broadcasting, http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/sssd/naics/naicsrch?code=515120&search=2012 (last visited Mar. 6, 2014).
    \9\ 13 CFR 121.201 (NAICS code 515120) (updated for inflation in 
2010).
    \10\ See FCC News Release, Broadcast Station Totals as of June 
30, 2014 (rel. July 9, 2014).
    \11\ We recognize that BIA's estimate differs slightly from the 
FCC total given the information provided above.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We note, however, that in assessing whether a business concern 
qualifies as small under the above definition, business (control) 
affiliations must be included.\12\ Our estimate, therefore, likely 
overstates the number of small entities that might be affected by our 
action because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include 
or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. In addition, an 
element of the definition of ``small business'' is that the entity not 
be dominant in its field of operation. We are unable at this time to 
define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific 
television station is dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, 
the estimate of small businesses to which rules may apply does not 
exclude any television station from the definition of a small business 
on this basis and is therefore possibly over-inclusive to that extent.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ ``[Business concerns] are affiliates of each other when one 
concern controls or has the power to control the other, or a third 
party or parties controls or has the power to control both.'' 13 CFR 
121.103(a)(1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, the Commission has estimated the number of licensed 
noncommercial educational (``NCE'') television stations to be 395.\13\ 
These stations are non-profit, and therefore considered to be small 
entities.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ See FCC News Release, Broadcast Station Totals as of June 
30, 2014 (rel. July 9, 2014).
    \14\ See generally 5 U.S.C. 601(4), (6).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There are also 2,460 LPTV stations, including Class A stations, and 
3838 TV translator stations.\15\ Given the nature of these services, we 
will presume that all of these entities qualify as small entities under 
the above SBA small business size standard.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ See FCC News Release, Broadcast Station Totals as of June 
30, 2014 (rel. July 9, 2014).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Electronics Equipment Manufacturers. Rules adopted in this 
proceeding could apply to manufacturers of television receiving 
equipment and other types of consumer electronics equipment. The SBA 
has developed definitions of small entity for manufacturers of audio 
and video equipment \16\ as well as radio and television broadcasting 
and wireless communications equipment.\17\ These categories both 
include all such companies employing 750 or fewer employees. The 
Commission has not developed a definition of small entities applicable 
to manufacturers of electronic equipment used by consumers, as compared 
to industrial use by television licensees and related businesses. 
Therefore, we will utilize the SBA definitions applicable to 
manufacturers of audio and visual equipment and radio and television 
broadcasting and wireless communications equipment, since these are the 
two closest NAICS Codes applicable to the consumer electronics 
equipment manufacturing industry. However, these NAICS categories are 
broad and specific figures are not available as to how many of these 
establishments manufacture consumer equipment. According to the SBA's 
regulations, an audio and visual equipment manufacturer must have 750 
or fewer employees in order to qualify as a small business concern.\18\ 
Census Bureau data indicates that there are 554 U.S. establishments 
that manufacture audio and visual equipment, and that 542 of these 
establishments have fewer than 500 employees and would be classified as 
small entities.\19\ The remaining 12 establishments have 500 or more 
employees; however, we are unable to determine how many of those have 
fewer than 750 employees and therefore, also qualify as small entities 
under the SBA definition. Under the SBA's regulations, a radio and 
television broadcasting and wireless communications equipment 
manufacturer must also have 750 or fewer employees in order to qualify 
as a small business concern.\20\ Census Bureau data indicates that 
there 1,215 U.S. establishments that manufacture radio and television 
broadcasting and wireless communications equipment,

[[Page 70834]]

and that 1,150 of these establishments have fewer than 500 employees 
and would be classified as small entities.\21\ The remaining 65 
establishments have 500 or more employees; however, we are unable to 
determine how many of those have fewer than 750 employees and 
therefore, also qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. We 
therefore conclude that there are no more than 542 small manufacturers 
of audio and visual electronics equipment and no more than 1,150 small 
manufacturers of radio and television broadcasting and wireless 
communications equipment for consumer/household use.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS Code 334310.
    \17\ 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS Code 334220.
    \18\ 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS Code 334310.
    \19\ Economics and Statistics Administration, Bureau of Census, 
U.S. Department of Commerce, 1997 Economic Census, Industry Series--
Manufacturing, Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing, Table 4 at 9 
(1999). The amount of 500 employees was used to estimate the number 
of small business firms because the relevant Census categories 
stopped at 499 employees and began at 500 employees. No category for 
750 employees existed. Thus, the number is as accurate as it is 
possible to calculate with the available information.
    \20\ 13 C.F.R 121.201, NAICS Code 334220.
    \21\ Economics and Statistics Administration, Bureau of Census, 
U.S. Department of Commerce, 1997 Economic Census, Industry Series--
Manufacturing, Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless 
Communications Equipment Manufacturing, Table 4 at 9 (1999). The 
amount of 500 employees was used to estimate the number of small 
business firms because the relevant Census categories stopped at 499 
employees and began at 500 employees. No category for 750 employees 
existed. Thus, the number is as accurate as it is possible to 
calculate with the available information.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other Compliance 
Requirements

    This Third NRPM proposes the following new or revised reporting or 
recordkeeping requirements.
    To implement channel sharing between LPTV and TV translator 
stations, stations will follow a two-step process proposed by the 
Commission--first filing an application for construction permit (Form 
346) and then application for license (Form 347). Stations terminating 
operations to share a channel would be required to submit a termination 
notice pursuant to the existing Commission rule. These existing forms 
and collections will need to be revised to accommodate these new 
channel-sharing related filings and to expand the burden estimates. In 
addition, the Commission proposes that channel sharing stations submit 
their channel sharing agreements (CSAs) with the Commission and be 
required to include certain provisions in their CSAs. The existing 
collection concerning the execution and filing of CSAs will need to be 
revised.
    To implement its proposed new digital-to-digital replacement 
translator service, the Commission will need to revise its existing 
replacement translator forms (346 and 347), rules and collections and 
to expand the burden estimates.
    Should the Commission eliminate its rule requiring that television 
receivers include an analog tuner, prior to the time that all 
broadcasters are operating digital-only, it is considering requiring 
that all broadcast receiver manufacturers and importers who market 
digital-only equipment prior to the LPTV and TV translator digital 
transition deadline educate consumers and retailers about the devices' 
limits and capabilities to prevent consumer confusion.

Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Impact on Small Entities, and 
Significant Alternatives Considered

    The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives 
that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may 
include the following four alternatives (among others): (1) The 
establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or 
timetables that take into account the resources available to small 
entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of 
compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; 
(3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an 
exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small 
entities.\22\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ 5 U.S.C. 603(c)(1)-(c)(4).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission's proposal to extend the September 1, 2015 LPTV and 
TV Translator digital transition date will greatly minimize the impact 
on small entities having to complete their transition to digital. 
Instead of having to possibly endure the expense of having to construct 
a digital facility only to be displaced by the incentive auction 
reorganization of spectrum and having to finance the construction of a 
second digital facility, the Commission's proposal will allow small 
entities to wait until the incentive auction is complete and to 
determine the impact on their digital transition plan.
    The Commission's proposal to allow LPTV and TV Translator to share 
channels between themselves and with other television services would 
greatly minimize the impact on small entities. Many stations will be 
displaced by the incentive auction reorganization of spectrum and 
allowing these stations to channel share will reduce the cost of having 
to build a new facility to replace the one that was displaced. Stations 
can share in the cost of building a shared channel facility and will 
experience cost savings by operating a shared transmission facility. In 
addition, channel sharing is voluntary and only those stations that 
determine that channel sharing will be advantageous will enter into 
this arrangement.
    The Commission's proposed licensing and operating rules for channel 
sharing between LPTV and TV translator stations and other television 
services were designed to minimize impact on small entities. The rules 
provide a streamlined method for reviewing and licensing channel 
sharing for these stations as well as a streamlined method for 
resolving cases where a channel sharing station loses its license on 
the shared channel. These rules were designed to reduce the burden and 
cost on small entities.
    The Commission is aware that some full service television stations 
operate with limited budgets. Accordingly, every effort was taken to 
propose rules for the new digital-to-digital replacement translator 
that impose the least possible burden on all licensees, including small 
entities. Existing forms will be used to implement this new service 
thereby reducing the burden on small entities.
    The Commission proposes that applications for digital-to-digital 
replacement translators should be given licensing priority over all 
other low power television and TV translator applications except 
displacement applications for analog-to-digital replacement translators 
(for which they would have co-equal priority). The Commission could 
have proposed allowing no such priority, but this alternative was not 
considered because it would result in many more mutually exclusive 
filings and delay the implementation of this valuable service.
    The Commission also proposes to limit the eligibility for such 
service to only those full-service television stations that can 
demonstrate that a portion of their digital service area will not be 
served by their post-incentive auction facilities and for translators 
to be used for that purpose. Alternatively, the Commission could have 
allowed all interested parties to file for new translators, however 
such approach was not considered because it would also result in 
numerous mutually exclusive filings and would greatly delay 
implementation of this needed service.
    The Commission further proposes that the service area of the 
replacement translator should be limited to only a demonstrated loss 
area and seeks comment on whether a replacement translator should be 
permitted to expand slightly a full-service station's post-incentive 
auction service area. Once again, the Commission could have allowed 
stations to file for expansion of their existing service areas but such 
an alternative was not seriously considered because it could result in 
the use of valuable spectrum that the Commission seeks to preserve for 
other uses.

[[Page 70835]]

    The Commission proposes that replacement digital television 
translator stations should be licensed with ``secondary'' frequency use 
status. The Commission could have proposed that replacement translators 
be licensed on a primary frequency use basis, but this alternative was 
not proposed because it would result in numerous interference and 
licensing problems.
    The Commission proposes that, unlike other television translator 
licenses, the license for the replacement translator should be 
associated with the full power station's main license. Therefore, the 
replacement translator license could not be separately assigned or 
transferred and would be renewed or assigned along with the full-
service station's main license. Alternatively, the Commission could 
have proposed that the replacement translator license be separate from 
the main station's license however this approach was not seriously 
considered because it could result in licenses being sold or modified 
to serve areas outside of the loss area, and thus would undermine the 
purpose of this new service.
    The Commission also tentatively concludes that the other rules 
associated with television translator stations should apply to the new 
replacement translator service including those rules concerning the 
filing of applications, payment of filing fees, processing of 
applications, power limits, out-of-channel emission limits, call signs, 
unattended operation, and time of operation. The alternative could have 
been to design all new rules for this service, but that alternative was 
not considered as it would adversely impact stations ability to quickly 
implement these new translators.
    The Commission's proposal to discontinue accepting applications for 
analog-to-digital replacement translators may impact small entities. 
However, the Commission determined that the need to prevent a negative 
impact on the post-incentive auction displacement window that could 
occur if the precious few channels were used for this service rather 
than for use by displaced LPTV and TV translator stations outweighed 
the limited impact on full power stations seeking a replacement 
translator given that the DTV transition was completed over five years 
ago.
    The Commission's efforts to assist LPTV and TV translator stations 
in finding displacement channels after the incentive auction will 
greatly benefit small entities. By helping stations find new channels 
from an ever shrinking universe of channels that will remain after the 
incentive auction reorganization of channels, the Commission will save 
small entities time and money by not having to consult with an engineer 
to make such determinations. Such savings can then be used to construct 
and operate the displacement facility.
    The Commission seeking comment on whether to permit operation of 
analog radio services by digital LPTV stations as ancillary or 
supplementary services could greatly benefit small entity LPTV stations 
by allowing them to find new business operations and sources of income. 
LPTV stations could establish a separate radio operation on an 
ancillary basis in addition to their primary digital television 
service. Such ancillary operation could provide a separate source of 
income to supplement their television operation and provide a separate 
audience for their programming and advertising.
    The Commission seeking comment on whether to permit equipment 
manufacturers to forego having to include an analog tuner in their 
television sets could benefit small entity equipment manufacturers. 
Having to include an analog tuner increases the cost of a television 
sets and equipment manufacturers, some of whom may be small entities, 
would enjoy a cost savings as a result of the Commission's proposal. 
Any impact that not including an analog tuner in new television sets 
may have upon consumers should be minimal now that the digital 
transition has been complete for over five years and would be 
outweighed by the benefit of less expensive digital television sets.

Federal Rules Which Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the 
Commission's Proposals

    None.

List of Subjects

47 CFR Part 15

    Communications equipment.

47 CFR Part 74

    Television.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary.

Proposed Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR parts 15 and 74 as 
follows:

PART 15--RADIO FREQUENCY DEVICES

0
1. The authority citation for part 15 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, 304, 307, 336, 544a, and 
549.

0
2. Amend Sec.  15.117 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  15.117  TV broadcast receivers.

* * * * *
    (b) TV broadcast receivers shall be capable of adequately receiving 
all digital channels allocated by the Commission to the television 
broadcast service.
* * * * *

PART 74--EXPERIMENTAL RADIO, AUXILIARY, SPECIAL BROADCAST AND OTHER 
PROGRAM DISTRIBUTIONAL SERVICES

0
3. The authority citation for part 74 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, 307, 309, 336 and 554

0
4. Amend Sec.  74.731 by revising paragraph (l) to read as follows:


Sec.  74.731  Purpose and permissible service.

* * * * *
    (l) After 11:59 p.m. local time on September 1, 2015, Class A 
television stations may no longer operate any facility in analog (NTSC) 
mode. After 11:59 p.m. local time on (insert new transition date), low 
power television and TV translator stations may no longer operate any 
facility in analog (NTSC) mode.
0
5. Amend Sec.  74.787 by revising paragraphs (a)(5) to read as follows:


Sec.  74.787  Digital licensing.

    (a) * * *
    (5) Applications for analog-to-digital and digital-to-digital 
replacement television translators.
    (i) Applications for new analog-to-digital replacement translators 
will not be accepted. Displacement applications for analog-to-digital 
replacement translators will continue to be accepted. An application 
for a digital-to-digital replacement translator may be filed beginning 
the first day of the low power television and TV translator 
displacement window set forth in Sec.  73.3700(g)(1) of this chapter to 
one year after the completion of the 39 month transition period set 
forth in Sec.  73.3700(b)(4) of this chapter. Applications for digital-
to-digital replacement translators filed during the displacement window 
will be considered filed on the last day of the window. Following the 
completion of the displacement window, applications for digital-to-
digital replacement translators will be accepted on a first-come, 
first-serve basis.
    (ii) Applications for analog-to-digital replacement television 
translator shall be given processing priority over all

[[Page 70836]]

other low power television and TV translator applications except 
displacement applications (with which they shall have co-equal 
priority) as set forth in Sec.  73.3572(a)(4)(ii) of this chapter. 
Applications for digital-to-digital replacement television translator 
shall be given processing priority over all other low power television 
and TV translator applications and shall have co-equal priority with 
displacement applications filed for analog-to-digital replacement 
translators.
    (iii) The service area of the digital-to-digital replacement 
translator shall be limited to only a demonstrated loss area within the 
full-service station's pre-auction digital service area. ``Pre-auction 
digital service area'' is defined as the geographic area within the 
full power station's noise-limited contour (of its facility licensed by 
the pre-auction licensing deadline prior to the incentive auction 
conducted under Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job 
Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-96)). An applicant for a digital-to-
digital replacement television translator may propose a de minimis 
expansion of its full power pre-auction digital service area upon 
demonstrating that the expansion is necessary to replace its digital 
loss area.
    (iv) The license for the analog-to-digital and digital-to-digital 
replacement television translator will be associated with the full 
power station's main license, will be assigned the same call sign, may 
not be separately assigned or transferred, and will be renewed with the 
full power station's main license.
    (v) Analog-to-digital and digital-to-digital replacement television 
translators may only operate on those television channels designated 
for broadcast television use following completion of the auctions 
conducted under Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job 
Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-96).
    (vi) Each original construction permit for the construction of an 
analog-to-digital or digital-to-digital replacement television 
translator station shall specify a period of three years from the date 
of issuance of the original construction permit within which 
construction shall be completed and application for license filed. The 
provisions of Sec.  74.788(c) of this chapter shall apply for stations 
seeking additional time to complete construction of their replacement 
television translator station.
    (vii) Applications for analog-to-digital and digital-to-digital 
replacement television translators shall be filed on FCC Form 346 and 
shall be treated as an application for minor change. Mutually exclusive 
applications shall be resolved via the Commission's part 1 and 
broadcast competitive bidding rules, Sec.  1.2100-Sec.  1.2114. and 
Sec.  73.5000-Sec.  73.5009 of this chapter.
    (viii) The following sections are applicable to analog-to-digital 
and digital-to-digital replacement television translator stations:

Sec.  73.1030 Notifications concerning interference to radio astronomy, 
research and receiving installations.
Sec.  74.703 Interference
Sec.  74.709 Land mobile station protection.
Sec.  74.734 Attended and unattended operation
Sec.  74.735 Power Limitations
Sec.  74. 751 Modification of transmission systems.
Sec.  74.763 Time of Operation
Sec.  74.765 Posting of station and operator licenses.
Sec.  74.769 Copies of rules.
Sec.  74.780 Broadcast regulations applicable to translators, low 
power, and booster stations (except Sec.  73.653--Operation of TV aural 
and visual transmitters and Sec.  73.1201--Station identification).
Sec.  74.781 Station records.
Sec.  74.784 Rebroadcasts.

0
6. Amend Sec.  74.788 by revising paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(3) and (d) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  74.788  Digital construction period.

* * * * *
    (c) Authority delegated. (1) For the September 1, 2015 Class A 
television digital construction deadline, authority is delegated to the 
Chief, Media Bureau to grant an extension of time of up to six months 
beyond September 1, 2015 upon demonstration by the digital licensee or 
permittee that failure to meet the construction deadline is due to 
circumstances that are either unforeseeable or beyond the licensee's 
control where the licensee has taken all reasonable steps to resolve 
the problem expeditiously. For the (insert new transition date) low 
power television and TV translator station digital construction 
deadline, authority is delegated to the Chief, Media Bureau to grant an 
extension of time of up to six months beyond (insert new transition 
date) upon demonstration by the digital licensee or permittee that 
failure to meet the construction deadline is due to circumstances that 
are either unforeseeable or beyond the licensee's control where the 
licensee has taken all reasonable steps to resolve the problem 
expeditiously.
* * * * *
    (3) Applications for extension of time filed by Class A television 
stations shall be filed not later than May 1, 2015 absent a showing of 
sufficient reasons for late filing. Applications for extension of time 
filed by low power television and TV translator stations shall be filed 
not later than (insert new filing deadline) absent a showing of 
sufficient reasons for late filing.
    (d) For Class A television digital construction deadlines occurring 
after May 1, 2015, the tolling provisions of Sec.  73.3598 of this 
chapter shall apply. For low power television and TV translator digital 
construction deadlines occurring after (insert new transition date), 
the tolling provisions of Sec.  73.3598 of this chapter shall apply.
* * * * *
0
7. Add Sec.  74.800 to read as follows


Sec.  74.800  Low power television channel sharing.

    (a) Channel sharing generally. (1) Subject to the provisions of 
this section, low power television and TV translator stations may 
voluntarily seek Commission approval to share a single six megahertz 
channel with other low power television, TV translator, full power 
television and Class A television station.
    (2) Each station sharing a single channel pursuant to this section 
shall continue to be licensed and operated separately, have its own 
call sign and be separately subject to all of the Commission's 
obligations, rules, and policies.
    (b) Licensing of channel sharing stations. The LPTV or TV 
translator channel sharing station relinquishing its channel must file 
an application for the initial channel sharing construction permit (FCC 
Form 346), include a copy of the channel sharing agreement as an 
exhibit, and cross reference the other sharing station(s). Any 
engineering changes necessitated by the channel sharing arrangement may 
be included in the station's application. Upon initiation of shared 
operations, the station relinquishing its channel must notify the 
Commission that it has terminated operation pursuant to section 73.1750 
of this part and each sharing station must file an application for 
license (FCC Form 347).
    (c) Deadline for implementing channel sharing arrangements. Channel 
sharing arrangements submitted pursuant to this section must be 
implemented within three years of the grant of the initial channel 
sharing construction permit.
    (d) Channel sharing agreements. (1) Channel sharing agreements 
submitted under this section must contain provisions outlining each 
licensee's rights and responsibilities regarding:

[[Page 70837]]

    (i) Access to facilities, including whether each licensee will have 
unrestrained access to the shared transmission facilities;
    (ii) Operation, maintenance, repair, and modification of 
facilities, including a list of all relevant equipment, a description 
of each party's financial obligations, and any relevant notice 
provisions; and
    (iii) Termination or transfer/assignment of rights to the shared 
licenses, including the ability of a new licensee to assume the 
existing CSA.
    (2) Channel sharing agreements submitted under this section must 
include a provision affirming compliance with the channel sharing 
requirements in this section including a provision requiring that each 
channel sharing licensee shall retain spectrum usage rights adequate to 
ensure a sufficient amount of the shared channel capacity to allow it 
to provide at least one Standard Definition (SD) program stream at all 
times.
    (e) Termination and assignment/transfer of shared channel. If a 
channel sharing station's license authorized under this section is 
terminated, the remaining channel sharing station or stations will 
continue to have rights to their portion(s) of the shared channel. The 
license(s) of the remaining channel sharing station(s) shall be 
modified to reflect that its channel is no longer shared with the 
terminated licensee. In the event that only one station remains on the 
shared channel, that station may request that the shared channel be re-
designated as a non-shared channel or could enter into a CSA with 
another station and resume shared operations, subject to Commission 
approval.

[FR Doc. 2014-27895 Filed 11-26-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P