FCC Sets July 9 Deadline for All Full-Service and Class A LP TV Stations to Certify Their Facilities Are Eligible for Spectrum Auction and Repacking Protection

The FCC has established JULY 9, 2015 as the deadline for submission of a Pre-Auction Technical Certification Form (FCC Form 2100, Schedule 381) by each full service and Class A LPTV television station eligible for channel relinquishment in the incentive auction and for protection in the repacking process to follow the auction. This filing will verify – or explain and request updating of – the FCC’s records relating to the “database technical information” for each station’s facilities, as certified by the station licensee. Failure to submit this certification may result in the FCC’s refusal to consider a station’s current facilities for purposes of repacking protection or auction valuation.

The FCC released a Public Notice (available here) with a listing (available here) of all stations deemed eligible to participate in the auction, whether through relinquishment of currently licensed spectrum or protection in repacking of the reconfigured television spectrum following the completion of the reverse and forward auctions. For each eligible station, a station licensee must submit by electronic filing a separate Schedule 381 to FCC Form 2100 (available here). The form is new, replacing more familiar television application and license forms used previously by the FCC. We recommend that you review both the form and the facilities listed by the FCC for each full service and Class A LPTV station licensed to you as soon as possible, and that you consult with your station or consulting engineer to confirm the accuracy of all of the listed facilities for your station, including the station’s technical specifications and other data reflected on the FCC’s CDBS database and in the Antenna Registration System.

If the FCC’s records are correct, you must certify on Schedule 381 that this information is accurate and complete. If discrepancies are noted due to errors in the database technical information, or if your station is operating with parameters that vary from its licensed specifications, an explanation and further disclosure concerning the station’s facilities and antenna site must be provided. In such a case, the station may be forced to revert to operation with its authorized facilities or required to seek Special Temporary Authority to continue to operate pending approval of a modified license, and the station may ultimately be considered in the auction and the repacking process only to the extent of its licensed, rather than its modified facilities.

If you have any questions regarding these requirements, or if you are aware of discrepancies in operating parameters that have not been reported to the FCC, please contact us promptly to discuss the submission of the Pre-Auction Technical Certification Form in advance of the July 9, 2015 deadline.

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