Low-power TV satellites fast tracked for DTV switch

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Low-power TV and translator stations would be permitted to convert from
analog to digital with easy-to-get permission to make a minor facilities change
under digital rules for those services proposed by the Federal Communications
Commission.

The FCC formally approved the proposal in early August but the text of the
plan was released Friday, revealing additional details.

Also, because DTV channels can carry more than one signal, the FCC is
considering allowing one translator outlet to be used by more than one broadcast
station when technically and economically feasible.

The commission announced Aug. 6 that low-power and satellite TV stations will
be entitled to second channels during the transition to digital television and
proposed other rules for the services’ digital operations.

Although rules for the conversion of full-power stations have been in place
since 1997, none had yet been set for LPTV and satellites, which serve as
critical programming links to rural communities not served by their own stations
or to minority groups or neighborhoods in urban areas.

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