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Post-Transition Table of DTV Allotments, Television Broadcast Stations,

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Released: November 6, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-2129

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

)
In the Matter of
)
)
Amendment of Section 73.622(i),
)
MB Docket No. 13-261
Post-Transition Table of DTV Allotments,
)
RM-11707
Television Broadcast Stations.
)
(Birmingham, Alabama)
)

NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING

Adopted: November 4, 2013

Released: November 6, 2013

Comment Date: [30 days after date of publication in the Federal Register]
Reply Comment Date: [45 days after date of publication in the Federal Register]

By the Chief, Video Division, Media Bureau:
1.
The Commission has before it a petition for rulemaking filed by Alabama Educational
Television Commission (“AETC”), the licensee of station WBIQ(TV), Birmingham, Alabama. AETC was
originally licensed on channel *10 and has operated continuously on that channel since 1953.1 Previously,
on March 2, 2010, the Commission substituted channel *39 for channel *10 at Birmingham at AETC’s
request.2 By this petition AETC seeks a return to its previously allotted channel *10.
2.
AETC also seeks a waiver of the Commission’s freeze on the filing of petitions for
rulemaking by television stations seeking a channel substitution.3 In support of its waiver request, AETC
explains that “[t]he stated purpose of the filing freeze is ‘[t]o permit the Commission to evaluate its
reallocation and repacking proposals and their impact on the Post-Transition Table of DTV Allotments,’”
and that “AETC currently has a claim on two channels in the DTV Table of Allotments,” channels *10 and
*39.4 AETC states that it is “seeking to relinquish all claims to channel *39” with this petition and
therefore, grant of this petition “would clear up any uncertainty as to the status of channel *39, thereby
enabling the Commission better to evaluate its reallocation and repacking proposals.”5 AETC also asserts
that “the channel which AETC seeks to relinquish, [c]hannel 39, is as a UHF channel, better suited to future
broadband use than would be a VHF channel such as the one which AETC seeks to retain.”6
3.
In support of its petition for rulemaking AETC states that it originally requested the

1 AETC Petition for Rulemaking at 1 (filed Aug. 29, 2013) (“AETC Petition”).
2 Birmingham, Alabama, Report and Order, 25 FCC Rcd 1970 (2010).
3 Freeze on the Filing of Petitions for Digital Channel Substitutions, Public Notice, 26 FCC Rcd 7721 (MB 2011)
(“Filing Freeze Public Notice”).
4 AETC Petition at 2 (citing Filing Freeze Public Notice).
5 Id.
6 Id.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-2129

substitution of channel *10 in order to “seize an opportunity to expand its coverage of WBIQ to serve more
of the people of Alabama.”7 AETC explains that, “[a]s time has progressed; however, economic conditions
have been such that AETC has concluded that its limited resources would be better expended in other area
than constructing new facilities on a new channel in the Birmingham area.”8 AETC further states that
“AETC can seek other ways to enhance coverage in operation of WBIQ on [c]hannel *10 to serve the
public,” and that “[i]t has concluded that the advantages to be gained from the change to [c]hannel [*]39
simply do not justify the investment ….”9 AETC concludes that “The proposed return of WBIQ to
[c]hannel *10 will serve the public interest by allowing the station to conserve its resources and by not
disrupting service to the public.”10
4.
Under these circumstances, we believe a waiver of the freeze on the filing of channel
substitution rulemaking petitions would serve the public interest. We also believe that AETC’s proposal
warrants consideration. Channel *39 can be substituted for channel *10 at Birmingham, Alabama as
proposed, in compliance with the principal community coverage requirements of Section 73.625(a) of the
Commission’s rules,11 at coordinates 39-29-04 N. and 86-48-25 W. In addition, we find that this channel
change meets the technical requirements set forth in Sections 73.616 and 73.623 of the Commission’s
rules.12 We propose to substitute channel *39 for channel *10 for station WBIQ(TV) at Birmingham with
the following specifications:
State and City
DTV Channel DTV Power (kW)
Antenna HAAT (m)
Birmingham, Alabama *10
3
426.2
5.
Accordingly, we seek comments on the proposed amendment of the DTV Table of
Allotments, Section 73.622(i) of the Commission’s rules,13 for the community listed below, to read as
follows:
Channel No.
City and State
Present
Proposed
Birmingham, Alabama
13, 30, 36, *39, 50
*10, 13, 30, 36, 50
6.
The Commission’s authority to institute rulemaking proceedings, required showings, cut-
off procedures, and filing requirements are contained in the attached Appendix and are incorporated by
reference herein. Pursuant to Section 73.623(h) of the rules, mutually-exclusive applicants will be provided
a 90-day period of time, from the date of a public notice identifying mutually-exclusive proposals, to resolve
their mutual-exclusivity via engineering amendment or settlement.14 If we receive an application on or

7 AETC Second Petition at 3.
8 Id. at 3.
9 Id.
10 Id. at 4.
11 47 C.F.R. § 73.625(a).
12 47 C.F.R. §§ 73.616 and 73.623.
13 47 C.F.R. § 73.622(i).
14 47 C.F.R. § 73.623(h)(3).
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DA 13-2129

before the date for filing initial comments in this proceeding, which proposes a facility which is mutually-
exclusive with the proposal set forth herein, we will issue a public notice and the parties will have 90 days
within which to resolve their mutual-exclusivity. If the parties resolve their mutual-exclusivity, we will
complete the rulemaking process by issuing the appropriate order. If the parties are unable to resolve their
mutual-exclusivity, we will terminate this proceeding and dismiss the application.
7.
Pursuant to Sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission’s rules, interested parties may file
comments on or before [30 days after publication in the Federal Register] and reply comments on or before
[45 days after publication in the Federal Register], and are advised to read the Appendix for the proper
procedures. Comments should be filed with the Federal Communications Commission, Office of the
Secretary, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554. Additionally, a copy of such comments should
be served on the petitioner, or its counsel or consultant, as follows:
M. Scott Johnson, Esq.
Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC
1300 N. 17th Street, Suite 1100
Arlington, VA 22209
8.
Parties must file an original and one copy of each filing.15 Filings can be sent by hand or
messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail
(although we continue to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). The Commission’s
contractor will receive hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary
at the FCC Headquarters Building located at 445 12th Street, S.W., Room TW-A325, Washington, D.C.
20554. The filing hours at this location are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand
deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before
entering the building. Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail or Priority
Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, Maryland 20743. U.S. Postal Service
first-class mail, Express Mail, and Priority Mail should be addressed to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th
Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554. All filings must be addressed to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary,
Federal Communications Commission, Office of the Secretary. Any filing that is not addressed to the
Office of the Secretary will be treated as filed on the day it is received in the Office of the Secretary.16
Accordingly, failure to follow the specified requirements may result in the treatment of a filing as untimely.
9.
The Commission has determined that the relevant provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility
Act of 1980 do not apply to a rulemaking proceeding to amend the DTV Table of Allotments, Section
73.622(i). This document does not contain proposed information collection requirements subject to the
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any
proposed information collection burden “for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees,”
pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, § 3506(c)(4).
10.
For further information concerning the proceeding listed above, contact Adrienne Denysyk,
Media Bureau, (202) 418-1600. For purposes of this restricted notice and comment rulemaking proceeding,
members of the public are advised that no ex parte presentations are permitted from the time the

15 Amendment of Certain of the Commission’s Part I Rules of Practice and Procedure and Part 0 of Commission
Reorganization
, GC Dkt. No. 10-4, Report and Order, 26 FCC Rcd 1594, ¶ 21 (2011).
16 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.7.
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Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-2129

Commission adopts a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking until the proceeding has been decided and such
decision in the applicable docket is no longer subject to reconsideration by the Commission or review by
any court. An ex parte presentation is not prohibited if specifically requested by the Commission or staff
for the clarification or adduction of evidence or resolution of issues in the proceeding. However, any new
written information elicited from such a request or any summary of any new information shall be served by
the person making the presentation upon the other parties to the proceeding in a particular docket unless the
Commission specifically waives this service requirement. Any comment which has not been served on the
petitioner constitutes an ex parte presentation and shall not be considered in the proceeding. Any reply
comment which has not been served on the person(s) who filed the comment, to which the reply is directed,
constitutes an ex parte presentation and shall not be considered in the proceeding.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Barbara A. Kreisman
Chief, Video Division
Media Bureau
4

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-2129

APPENDIX

1.
Pursuant to authority found in 47 U.S.C. Sections 4(i), 5(c)(1), 303(g) and (r), and 307(b)
of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and 47 C.F.R. Sections 0.61, 0.204(b) and 0.283, IT IS
PROPOSED TO AMEND the DTV Table of Allotments, 47 C.F.R. Section 73.622(i), as set forth in the
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to which this Appendix is attached.
2.
Showings Required. Comments are invited on the proposal(s) discussed in the Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking to which this Appendix is attached. Proponent(s) will be expected to answer
whatever questions are presented in initial comments. The proponent of a proposed allotment is also
expected to file comments even if it only resubmits or incorporates by reference its former pleadings. It
should also restate its present intention to apply for the channel if it is allotted and, if authorized, to build
a station promptly. Failure to file may lead to denial of the request.
3.
Cut-off protection. The following procedures will govern the consideration of the filings
in this proceeding;
(a) Counterproposals advanced in this proceeding itself will be considered, if advanced
in initial comments, so that parties may comment on them in reply comments. They will not be
considered if advanced in reply comments. (See Section 1.420(d) of the Commission’s Rules.) Because
the Commission has not yet lifted its freeze on the filing of petitions for rulemaking to establish new
DTV channel allotments and for changes in community of license,17 we will not consider
counterproposals which propose new allotments or changes in community of license.
(b) With respect to petitions for rulemaking which conflict with the proposal in this
Notice, they will be considered as comments in the proceeding, and Public Notice to this effect will be
given as long as they are filed before the date for filing initial comments herein. If they are filed later
than that, they will not be considered in connection with the decision in this docket.
(c) The filing of a counterproposal may lead the Commission to allot a different channel
than was requested for any of the communities involved.
4.
Comments and Reply Comments; service. Pursuant to applicable procedures set out in
47 C.F.R. Sections 1.415 and 1.420, interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or
before the dates set forth in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to which this Appendix is attached. All
submissions by parties to this proceeding or by persons acting on behalf of such parties must be made in
written comments, reply comments, or other appropriate pleadings. The person filing the comments shall
serve comments on the petitioners. Reply comments shall be served on the person(s) who filed
comments to which the reply is directed. A certificate of service shall accompany such comments and
reply comments (see 47 C.F.R. Section 1.420(a), (b) and (c)). Comments should be filed with the Federal
Communications Commission, Office of the Secretary, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.
5.
Number of Copies. In accordance with the provisions of 47 C.F.R. Section 1.419(b), an
original and one copy of all comments, reply comments, pleadings, briefs, or other documents shall be

17 Freeze on the Filing of Certain TV and DTV Requests for Allotment or Service Area Changes, Public Notice, 19
FCC Rcd 14810 (MB 2004).
5

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DA 13-2129

furnished the Commission. An electronic copy should also be sent to adrienne.denysyk@fcc.gov.
6.
Public Inspection of Filings. All filings made in this proceeding will be available for
examination by interested parties during regular business hours in the Commission’s Reference
Information Center, at its headquarters, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.
6

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