The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) Media Bureau has designated May 29, 2015 as the pre-Incentive Auction licensing deadline by which full power and Class A facilities must be licensed in order to be eligible for protection in the repacking process that will be part of the Incentive Auction. In its Incentive Auction Report & Order, the Commission determined that all full power and Class A facilities that were licensed as of February 22, 2012 were entitled to mandatory protection. The Commission also concluded that extending discretionary protection to certain categories of facilities not licensed by the February 22, 2012 date would serve the public interest. These categories include:
Full power facilities authorized in outstanding construction permits issued to effectuate a channel substitution for a licensed station;
Modified facilities of full power and Class A stations that have been authorized by construction permits; and
Class A stations’ initial digital facilities that were not initially licensed until after February 22, 2012.
All facilities in these discretionary protection categories, with limited exceptions, must be licensed or have an application for a license to cover the construction permit on file by May 29, 2015 in order for these facilities to be protected in the repacking process.