Reps. Seek GAO Study of Auction Impact on LPTV, Translators - Broadcasting & Cable

Reps. Seek GAO Study of Auction Impact on LPTV, Translators

Want to know how different scenarios would affect them
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The former Republican chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee and the current ranking member of its Communications Subcommittee have asked the Government Accounting Office to study the impact of the FCC's incentive auction on low-power TV stations and translators. 

Those stations, with the exception of Class A low powers, are not participating in the auction and were not afforded the same status or coverage area and interference protections after the auction as were full-power TV's.

The FCC is doing a similar evaluation, the legislators concede, but said they think the GAO study would help provide recommendations to the FCC and Congress on how to ameliorate the impact of the auction on LPTV's and translators, which retransmit full-power signals to hard-to-reach areas.

They are asking for the impact under two different scenarios: if the FCC reclaims 84 MHz from broadcasters, and if they get the FCC's high-end estimate of 126 MHz.

Joe Barton (R-Tex.), former chairman, and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), current ranking member, want the following information from GAO:

*"The total number of LPTV stations that provide original programming or broadcast local news and information, especially those serving racial and ethnic minority communities

*"The total number of TV translator stations that rebroadcast local news and information programming of a full-power TV broadcast station

*"A projection of the number of such LPTV stations and TV translator stations that will be unable to locate to or operate on replacement channels after the auction

*"A projection of the number of viewers that will lose over-the-air access to at least one such local LPTV station that provide local news and information, especially to underserved communities of interest

* "A projection of the number of such LPTV stations and TV translator stations that will be unable to locate to or operate on replacement channels after the auction

* "A projection of the number of viewers that will lose over-the-air access to at least one such local LPTV station that provide local news and information, especially to underserved communities of interest

* "A projection of the number of viewers that will lose over-the-air access via such TV translator stations to at least one of teh signals of the regional affiliates of the major commercial or noncommercial educational television broadcast networks

*  "Recommendations to the FCC and Congress on ways to remedy adverse impacts of the auction on LPTV stations and TV translator stations and, most importantly, their viewers"

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