FCC Unveils DTV Switch Guidelines for Stations
February 23, 2009 1:16 PM
For those television stations that did not end analog broadcasting on Feb. 17, 2009, the FCC has set up the criteria under which stations may elect to continue their analog signals until the end of the extension period on June 12, 2009, or elect a date sooner than that if they desire.
On March 17, 2009 stations have to notify the FCC of their intentions of when they will cease analog broadcasts. This will be a binding notice, and cannot be changed once the election has been made by the station, unless there is a catastrophic transmitter or equipment failure or a natural disaster of some sort.
The earliest that a station may end analog broadcasts at this time is April 16. This is 30 days from the March 17 notification date, which would give the FCC 30 days notice, and allow the station to begin a 30 day campaign of announcements notifying the public of the intent to cease analog broadcasting which is required by the FCC before analog transmissions can end.
So it is status quo for the next few weeks as stations decide how to handle the final switch to digital only broadcasting.