FCC List of DTV Delays Continues to Shrink

KDTO-DT Las Cruces, N.M., says it will be fully digital on June 12, bringing number of stations on list to 30

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Scratch at least one station, and maybe a half-dozen more, from the list of those the FCC said last week it didn't expect to start up a digital signal on June 12, when all analog broadcasts must end.

That one station would be KDTO-DT Las Cruces, N.M. (in the El Paso, Tex., market), according to an attorney for the station. The station was "inadvertently included on that list," said the attorney in an e-mail to B&C. "In fact the station is built and will be operating with its full, final DTV facilities by the 12th," he said.

That would reduce the number of stations on the FCC's list from 35 to 30.

The commission has already taken four stations off: three it put there by mistake and a fourth that informed the commission it had resolved its technical problems and would be ready to go June 12 after all.

KDTO's inclusion on the list was understandable. It had asked for and received an extension just in case it was not ready. KDTO has filed an update with the FCC to clarify it is ready to roll.

But there could be a half-dozen more in the "technical difficulty" category that should be coming off the list. That would knock the number down to 24.

The FCC explained when it released the list that 17 of the 35 stations had asked for extensions of the June 12 date for technical problems that might not get resolved by that date.

According to a spokesperson for PBS, its engineering department has checked with the six PBS member stations on that list and all say they will be digital "June 12 and beyond."

"This appears to be an administrative issue," said spokeswoman Jan McNamara. "The stations will be working to resolve this with the FCC."