One day before Christmas, the FCC took steps to implement a law signed last week by President Bush, with the adoption of a notice of proposed rulemaking that would permit some full-power television stations to continue broadcasts in analog format for 30 days after the digital television (DTV) transition in February. The analog “nightlight” rules proposed by the FCC respond to the enactment of the Short Term Analog Flash and Emergency Readiness Act (S.3663), which allows TV stations to continue analog broadcasts for 30 days beyond the DTV transition deadline for emergency purposes and to alert the public about the cut-off of analog service. The rulemaking notice would also extend on a nationwide scale a concept used last September in Wilmington, North Carolina, which served as the FCC’s initial DTV transition trial market. After TV broadcasters in Wilmington switched to all-digital service on September 8, messages were transmitted in analog format to over-the-air viewers in the area stating that, if they were able to view the message, their sets had not been upgraded to digital and they would have to purchase a DTV converter box or subscribe to cable or satellite service to receive TV signals. Under the FCC’s nightlight system, certain eligible stations in each media market would broadcast a similar message to analog viewers for 30 days after the DTV deadline in both English and Spanish. According to the rulemaking notice, the roster of eligible stations represents “a conservative list that the Commission was able to assemble in the limited timeframe contemplated by the legislation based on readily accessible information and valid engineering assumptions.” (The law requires the FCC to act on the analog nightlight rules by January 15.) Although the notice received unanimous approval by the FCC’s commissioners, Commissioner Michael Copps voiced disappointment that “little . . . seems to have been done to maximize the number of stations that can participate in the program,” especially as the notice itself “acknowledges that this approach is ‘conservative’ and likely over-protects digital signals from interference.” To satisfy the law’s requirements, the FCC intends to mandate a shortened pleading cycle of ten days and to expedite publication of the rulemaking notice in the Federal Register.