A report on the status of the digital build out by full power television broadcasters by the FCC's Media Bureau shows that over 96 percent of active full power television stations are either fully operational with digital service or are on track to have their full digital service operational by February 17, 2009. In summary stations have reported the following:
o 1,002 stations (56 percent of a current total of 1,798 active television stations) reported in their Form 387s that they have fully constructed their post-transition DTV facilities and are ready for the DTV transition. The only step remaining for these stations is to terminate analog operations before February 18, 2009.
o 41 percent of stations (736) have not completed construction yet but report making appropriate progress and expect to be operating their full digital service before February 18.
o Approximately three percent (56 stations) will take advantage of the flexibility offered by the Commission in the Third DTV Periodic Review Report and Order and will be serving at least 85 percent of their service population on February 17, 2009, with final digital operations beginning sometime thereafter. The flexibility is available for stations needing additional time due to “unique technical challenges,” such as top mount/side mount, weather-related issues, or coordination with other stations.
o One station forecasts that it will not be able to complete construction of its full digital facility until a few days after February 17, 2009 and will be dark for this brief time.
o Three stations have not submitted their Form 387s but have unofficially reported that they intend to be ready for the DTV transition.
The numbers presented in the Report were derived from the information provided by stations in their FCC Form 387 DTV Transition Status Report and other filings. Stations are required to update their filings as they progress towards completion of the transition. The Media Bureau's report provides a snapshot of broadcasters' overall readiness six months before the transition deadline, which is February 17, 2009. Full power stations must terminate analog broadcasting no later than 11:59:59 pm on February 17, 2009, and broadcast only digital signals as of February 18, 2009.