Amendment of Parts 73 and 74 of the Commission’s Rules to Establish Rules for Digital Low Power Television, Television Translator, and Television Booster Stations and to Amend Rules for Digital Class A Television Stations, Report and Order, 19 FCC Rcd 19331 (2004) (Digital LPTV Order) (interpreting the Communications Act to give the FCC discretion to establish a deadline for the transition of low power television stations “after the end” of the full-service station transition period), citing 47 U.S.C. §§309(j)(14)(A), 336(f)(4).
In the Digital LPTV Order, the Federal Communications Commission sought to facilitate, wherever possible, the digital transition of low power television stations, thereby enabling their viewers to realize the many benefits of digital broadcast television technology. The rules and policies adopted therein provide flexible and affordable opportunities for digital low power television service, both through the conversion of existing analog service and, where spectrum is available, new digital stations.
The Digital LPTV Order established a regulatory framework consistent with the Commission’s goals of hastening the transition of low power television stations to digital operations, while minimizing disruption of existing service to consumers served by analog low power television stations. The Commission granted all existing low power television stations the opportunity to seek either an on-channel digital conversion (“flash cut”) authorization or the opportunity to receive a “digital companion channel” to operate with their analog channel.