On July 14, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing that it will lift the freeze on Class A television station applications seeking displacement channels or service area expansions. Beginning on August 4, the FCC will accept Class A displacement and expansion applications on a "first come, first served" basis. These applications must be filed electronically on FCC Form 301-CA using the Commission's Consolidated Database System (CDBS).
Accordingly, for cutoff purposes, Class A applications will be entitled to interference protection from all later-filed proposals as of the date they are filed. However, all Class A displacement and expansion applications filed prior to August 4, along with a request for a waiver of the filing freeze, will be treated for cutoff purposes as being filed on August 4, 2008.
On August 3, 2004, the FCC imposed a freeze on filing Class A displacement applications and applications for coverage changes that would serve any area not already served by that Class A station's authorized facilities. The Commission implemented the freeze to facilitate the channel election process and the creation of the DTV Table of Allotments. Class A stations demonstrating that they faced imminent disruption of service, however, could request special temporary authority to continue operations. The FCC indicated that it would consider requests for waiver of the freeze on a case-by-case basis, to be granted only upon a showing of good cause and when grant of the waiver would serve the public interest.
The FCC decided that it was appropriate to lift the freeze on Class A displacement and expansion applications, given that the Commission recently had lifted a freeze on filing maximization applications by full-power television stations.
A copy of the FCC's Public Notice can be found here.