FCC Asks for Formal Comments on Next-Generation of Television, and Approves Greater Use of FM Translators By AM Stations

At its meeting yesterday, the FCC took two big actions affecting broadcasters. First, it approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking looking to adopt a transition plan for television broadcasters to move to the new ATSC 3.0 standard. The Commission apparently took the general actions previewed in its draft order released earlier this month, though additional questions were said to have been teed up for public comment in the final version of the NPRM. The final version had not been released when this article was written on Friday morning. The FCC press release on its action yesterday is here. We’ll write more about the details of the NPRM in the next few days, after it is released.

The FCC also formally adopted the other order it had released in draft form back in early February. This order expands the area in which FM translators can be operated to rebroadcast an AM station. We wrote about the draft order here. The FCC Press Release about yesterday’s action is here, but again the final text has not been released, so we can’t confirm that there were no changes from the original order. Watch for more information, including details of the effective date in these new translator rules, shortly.