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                                                       Calendar No. 717
105th Congress                                                   Report
                                SENATE

 2d Session                                                     105-411
_______________________________________________________________________


 
             COMMUNITY BROADCASTERS PROTECTION ACT OF 1998

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 1427





 October 12 (legislative day, October 2), 1998.--Ordered to be printed


       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                       one hundred fifth congress

                             second session

                     JOHN McCAIN, Arizona, Chairman

TED STEVENS, Alaska                  ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, South Carolina
CONRAD BURNS, Montana                DANIEL K. INOUYE, Hawaii
SLADE GORTON, Washington             WENDELL H. FORD, Kentucky
TRENT LOTT, Mississippi              JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West 
KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas            Virginia
OLYMPIA SNOWE, Maine                 JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts
JOHN ASHCROFT, Missouri              JOHN B. BREAUX, Louisiana
BILL FRIST, Tennessee                RICHARD H. BRYAN, Nevada
SPENCER ABRAHAM, Michigan            BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota
SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas                RON WYDEN, Oregon

                       John Raidt, Staff Director

                       Mark Buse, Policy Director

                  Martha P. Allbright, General Counsel

     Ivan A. Schlager, Democratic Chief Counsel and Staff Director

             James S.W. Drewry, Democratic General Counsel


                                                       Calendar No. 717
105th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE

 2d Session                                                     105-411
_______________________________________________________________________


             COMMUNITY BROADCASTERS PROTECTION ACT OF 1998

                                _______
                                

 October 12 (legislative day, October 2), 1998.--Ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


       Mr. McCain, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1427]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred S. 1427, ``A Bill to amend the 
Communications Act of 1934 to require the Federal 
Communications Commission to preserve low-power television 
stations that provide community broadcasting, and for other 
purposes'', having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon with an amendment in the nature of a substitute and 
recommends that the bill as amended do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

  The purpose of S. 1427, as reported, is to preserve low-power 
community television broadcasting by directing the Federal 
Communications Commission (FCC) to issue regulations creating a 
permanent Class A license for qualifying low-power stations.

                          Background and Needs

  In 1982 the FCC established low-power television (LPTV) 
service to provide opportunities for television service for 
locally-created and community-oriented programming in rural 
locations and communities within larger urban areas. LPTV 
service presents a less expensive means of delivering 
programming tailored to the interests and self-expression of 
viewers. LPTV has created opportunities for entry into 
television broadcasting and has permitted fuller use of the 
broadcasting spectrum. These stations operate at the higher 
ends of the broadcast spectrum and serve a more limited area, 
generally a coverage area of 12 to 15 miles.
  Although the FCC generally imposes few regulatory barriers on 
the operation of LPTV stations, two major regulatory 
restrictions limit LPTV stations. First, LPTV stations must 
operate with secondary status, which means that LPTV stations 
cannot interfere with the transmission of full-power television 
stations. Second, regulatory limits on effective radiated power 
(3 kilowatts for VHF channels and 150 kilowatts for UHF 
channels) are imposed on LPTV stations.
  In the lower 48 states, 700 licensees operate approximately 
1,500 LPTV stations in nearly 750 towns and cities, ranging in 
population size from a few hundred to communities of hundreds 
of thousands. About two-thirds of the stations serve rural 
communities. An additional 5,000 ``TV translator stations'' 
rebroadcast the signal of full-service stations, mostly in the 
western mountains.
  LPTV stations are operated by diverse groups, high schools 
and colleges, churches and religious groups, local governments, 
large and small businesses, and individual citizens. More than 
10 percent of the stations are licensed to minority groups or 
individuals. Many community broadcasters offer regional news 
and sports coverage. Others provide religious programming, all 
news, all sports, or all movie formats.
  In providing all full-power television stations with a second 
digital television (DTV) channel, the FCC found that a number 
of stations, especially in major markets, would be displaced. 
In order to protect LPTV stations, the FCC has adopted a number 
of policies. They include allowing the LPTV stations displaced 
by a DTV station to apply for a suitable replacement channel in 
the same area without being subject to competing applications 
and amending the rules to allow such applications to be 
considered on a first-come, first-serve basis, without waiting 
for the FCC to open a low-power application window. LPTV 
stations also are permitted to operate until a displacing DTV 
station or a new primary service provider is operational.
  Despite these regulatory protections, the digital era still 
threatens the operation of many LPTV stations. As the FCC 
reclaims spectrum to provide the second channels for DTV, some 
LPTV stations may cease operating during the transition to DTV 
or afterward. This changing climate has created uncertainty for 
many owners and operators of LPTV stations. S. 1427 would 
elevate LPTV stations from their current secondary status to a 
newly-created Class A license. An estimated 200 to 400 of the 
approximately 2,075 LPTV licenses could qualify for Class A 
status. Class A LPTV licensees would assume the same duties and 
responsibilities as their full-power counterparts.

                          Legislative History

  On November 11, 1997, Senator Ford introduced S. 1427, the 
Community Broadcasters Protection Act of 1997, to address the 
needs of community broadcasters. This bill is cosponsored by 
twenty Senators, including fourteen members of the Full 
Committee.
  On October 1, 1998, the Committee met in open executive 
session to consider S. 1427 and, by voice vote, ordered the 
bill reported with an amendment in the nature of a substitute.

                      Summary of Major Provisions

  As reported, S. 1427 would require the FCC to create new, 
permanent ``Class A'' licenses for LPTV stations.
  An LPTV station would qualify for a Class A license if the 
station: (A) within the 90 days preceding the date of 
enactment: (i) broadcasts for at least 18 hours per day; (ii) 
averages at least 3 hours per week of local programming; and 
(iii) complies with the FCC's LPTV requirements; and (B) from 
the date of filing a Class A application, complies with FCC's 
rules for full power stations; or (C) the FCC determines by a 
public interest test that the public interest would be served 
by treating the station as a Class A station.
  No LPTV station would be disqualified for a Class A license 
because of common ownership with any other mass medium.
  The FCC would not be required to issue additional licenses 
for advance television services for Class A stations but would 
be required to accept license applications that would not cause 
interference as of the filing date of the Class A applications 
for advanced services.
  Class A licensees could convert to advanced services but 
would not be required to do so until the FCC requires all full 
power stations to convert.
  The bill contains specific language to clarify that nothing 
in the legislation would preempt section 337 of the 
Communications Act of 1934.
  The bill contains specific language to ensure that the FCC 
will not grant a Class A license to any LPTV station operating 
between 698 and 806 megahertz (Channels 52-69) but permits LPTV 
stations assigned to and temporarily using these channels the 
opportunity to seek Class A status. For purposes of this bill, 
core spectrum licenses for Class A use would not include any of 
the 175 additional channels referenced in the FCC Report and 
Order: MM Docket No. 87-268 (February 17, 1998).
  The bill, as reported, provides that the FCC may not grant or 
modify a Class A license absent a showing that the Class A 
station will not cause: (A) interference within the Grade B 
contour of any television station (as of the date of enactment) 
or the replicated service areas provided in the DTV Table of 
Allotments; (B) interference within the protected contour of 
any licensed LPTV or TV translator station or one authorized by 
construction permit or one with a pending displacement 
application submitted before the filing date of a Class A 
application or modification thereof; or (C) interference within 
the protected contour of wireless services, including public 
safety services.

                            Estimated Costs

  In the opinion of the Committee, it is necessary under 
paragraph 11(a)(3) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate to dispense with the requirements of the paragraphs of 
11(a) (1) and (2) of the rule and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 in order to expedite the 
business of the Senate.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

  In accordance with paragraph of 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation:

                       Number of Persons Covered

  The legislation would require the FCC to establish by rule a 
program to enable current low-power licensees to apply for a 
new Class A license. While approximately 2,075 LPTV licensees 
could apply for Class A status, industry estimates project that 
only 200 to 400 would seek Class A status. Those licensees 
seeking Class A licenses would be required to comply with 
additional FCC regulations, but only if those applicants 
voluntarily seek this new regulatory status.
  The new Class A status would provide certainty to the 
licensees that currently have only temporary rights to use the 
broadcast spectrum. The permanent status would provide 
continuity to the hundreds of thousands of the viewers of the 
programming provided by community broadcasters.
  Class A licensees will be covered by Part 73 regulations, 
including requirements related to children's programming, 
maintenance of a main studio, and retention of public files.

                            Economic Impact

  This legislation would require the FCC to establish rules to 
create a new Class A status for qualifying low-power licensees. 
The legislation does not provide any additional authorization 
of funds to establish these rules. Additionally, the permanent 
status is expected to enhance the ability of community 
broadcasters to obtain long-term capital.

                                Privacy

  This legislation would not have any adverse impact on the 
personal privacy of the individuals affected.

                               Paperwork

  The bill may generate small amounts of administrative 
paperwork in association with the FCC's selection and oversight 
of the licensees voluntarily seeking Class A status.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1. Short title

  Section 1 cites the short title of the bill as ``The 
Community Broadcasters Protection Act of 1998.''

Section 2. Findings

  Section 2 sets forth four findings that establish the basis 
for enacting the bill.

Section 3. Preservation of Low-Power Community Television

  Section 3 of the bill would amend section 336 of the 
Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 336) by inserting a new 
subsection (f) to preserve LPTV. Paragraph (1) of the new 
subsection requires theCommission to issue final rules within 
120 days of the date of enactment which establish a Class A television 
license for qualifying LPTV licensees. These Class A licenses generally 
would be subject to the same terms and renewal standards as full-power 
licenses. Within 30 days of enactment, the Commission would be required 
to send a notice to all LPTV licensees which describes the requirements 
for Class A designation. Within 30 days of receipt of this notice, LPTV 
licensees seeking Class A status would be required to submit a 
certification of eligibility. Absent a material deficiency, the 
Commission would be required to grant this certification and preserve 
the contours of an LPTV licensee pending the final resolution of the 
Class A application. For purposes of new subsection (f), a ``material 
deficiency'' in an application means an application that is not 
substantially complete and does not contain the basic supporting 
information to document the applicant's claim for eligibility or the 
station's compliance with the requirements of Part 73. LPTV licensees 
would have to submit Class A applications within 30 days of the 
adoption of final regulations implementing the bill. The Commission 
would have 30 days from receipt of a qualifying application to award a 
Class A license.
  Paragraph (2) of new subsection (f) provides that an LPTV 
station would qualify for a Class A license if:
          (1) within the 90 days preceding the date of 
        enactment of the bill, the LPTV station--
                  (A) broadcasts for at least 18 hours per day;
                  (B) averages at least 3 hours per week of 
                local programming; and
                  (C) complies with the Commission's LPTV 
                requirements;
          (2) from the date of filing a Class A application, 
        the LPTV station complies with the Commission's rules 
        for full power stations; or
          (3) the Commission determines by a public interest 
        test that the public interest would be served by 
        treating the LPTV station as a Class A station.
  For purposes of new subsection (f), ``local programming'' 
means programming that is created and produced substantially 
within the grade B contour or principal service area of the 
station, whichever is larger. The Committee believes that this 
requirement should be applied flexibly. For example, if a 
station is producing a story about local crop damage, it would 
be reasonable to expect that the story would include comments 
from county, State, or Federal officials. Additionally, a local 
news program could include material from the State's capital 
city or from around the State, so long as the program is 
created and produced substantially within the principal service 
area of the station. However, if the station replays a 6:00 
p.m. newscast later in the evening, the second airing would not 
be included as part of the minimal criteria for meeting and 
maintaining the requirements for Class A status.
  Paragraph (3) of new subsection (f) provides that no LPTV 
station would be disqualified for a Class A license because of 
common ownership with any other mass medium.
  Paragraph (4) of new subsection (f) provides that the 
Commission would not be required to issue additional licenses 
to Class A stations, but would be required to accept license 
applications thatwould not cause interference as of the filing 
date of the Class A application for advanced services. In reviewing 
these applications, the Commission would be required to consider the 
impact of such a grant on the primary television viewing audience of 
the applicant. For purposes of new subsection (f), ``primary television 
viewing audience'' means the population of households within the Grade 
B contour of the applicant. The new license or the original license of 
the applicant would be forfeited at the end of the DTV transition. 
Class A licensees would be eligible to convert to advanced services but 
would not be required to do so until the Commission required full-power 
stations to convert.
  Paragraph (5) of new subsection (f) provides that nothing in 
the new subsection would preempt section 337 of the 
Communications Act of 1934. Section 337, which was enacted as 
part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-33), directs 
the Commission to begin the assignment of public safety 
licenses no later than September 30, 1998, and the assignment 
of commercial licenses by competitive bidding no later than 
January 1, 2001. When introduced, S. 1427 did not include this 
clarifying language concerning section 337. The FCC permits 
secondary service broadcasters to use the channels affected by 
section 337 on an interim basis, until the secondary user 
creates interference with the new license. After reviewing S. 
1427 as introduced, certain public safety officials raised 
concerns that the permanent status granted to Class A licensees 
could result in a delay in the use of spectrum for public 
safety purposes. To address the concerns of the public safety 
community, statutory language was included to clarify that the 
new section 336(f) would not preempt any of the existing 
provisions of section 337.
  Paragraph (6) of new subsection (f) would preclude the 
Commission from granting a Class A license to any LPTV station 
operating between 698 and 806 megahertz (Channels 52-69). LPTV 
stations assigned those frequencies would be permitted to apply 
for a Class A license, and the Commission would be required to 
issue a Class A license when a qualified licensee is awarded a 
channel within core spectrum. The core spectrum licenses would 
not include any of the 175 additional channels referenced in 
the FCC Report and Order: MM Docket No. 87-268 (February 23, 
1998).
  Paragraph (7) of new subsection (f) would preclude the 
Commission from granting or modifying a Class A license absent 
a showing that the Class A station would not cause:
          (A) impermissible interference within the Grade B 
        contour of any television station (as of the date of 
        enactment of this act) or the replicated service areas 
        provided in the DTV Table of Allotments;
          (B) interference within the protected contour of any 
        licensed LPTV or TV translator station or one 
        authorized by construction permit or one with a pending 
        displacement application submitted before the filing 
        date of a Class A application or modification thereto; 
        or
          (C) impermissible interference within the protected 
        contour for wireless services, including public safety 
        services.
  The Committee included the term ``impermissible 
interference'' to provide the FCC flexibility in making a 
determination of what constitutes interference. The Committee 
understands that the FCC will have to develop appropriate 
interference standards for the new Class A stations. For 
purposes of new subsection (f), the term ``Grade B contour'' 
means the protected contour of each station. For VHF stations 
on channels 2-6, the protected contour shall be 47dBu (decibels 
above 1 micro volt per meter), and for channels 7-13, the 
protected contour shall be 56 dBu. For all UHF stations, the 
protected contour shall be 64 dBu.
  As introduced, the bill contained provisions that would have 
directed the FCC to provide very specific protections to Class 
A licensees terminated or rescinded because of the DTV 
allotments. The original version of S. 1427 would have provided 
that no Class A license could have been terminated or rescinded 
to implement amendments to the Table of Allotments adopted 
before the date of enactment unless the FCC met the following 
requirements: The FCC would have been required to revise the 
Table of Allotments to preserve Class A stations unless 
preservation: (1) would have precluded the assignment of an 
additional license to a full power station for advanced TV 
services; (2) would have required the FCC to rescind or revoke 
a construction permit to such a full power station; or (3) 
would have caused a significant delay or increase in the 
construction costs of DTV by a network-affiliated analog 
station in the top 30 markets. If the FCC could not have 
revised the Allotment Table to preserve Class A stations in 
that manner, the FCC would have been required to revise the 
Table of Allotments to preserve the Class A station in the same 
community by assigning the station a different frequency. If 
the FCC could not have achieved Class A status under either 
manner, the FCC would have been required to provide a license 
in an adjacent community. If the FCC still could not have 
achieved Class A status, the FCC would have been required to 
award a Class A license in a community acceptable to the 
licensee. The reported bill omits these requirements to avoid 
potential adverse impacts on the roll-out of DTV.

                        Changes in Existing Law

  In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by the bill, 
as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be 
omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new material is printed 
in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown 
in roman):

                       COMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1934

                            [47 U.S.C. 336]

SEC. 336. BROADCAST SPECTRUM FLEXIBILITY.

  (a) Commission Action.--If the Commission determines to issue 
additional licenses for advanced television services, the 
Commission--
          (1) should limit the initial eligibility for such 
        licenses to persons that, as of the date of such 
        issuance, are licensed to operate a television 
        broadcast station or hold a permit to construct such a 
        station (or both); and
          (2) shall adopt regulations that allow the holders of 
        such licenses to offer such ancillary or supplementary 
        services on designated frequencies as may be consistent 
        with the public interest, convenience, and necessity.
  (b) Contents of Regulations.--In prescribing the regulations 
required by subsection (a), the Commission shall--
          (1) only permit such licensee or permittee to offer 
        ancillary or supplementary services if the use of a 
        designated frequency for such services is consistent 
        with the technology or method designated by the 
        Commission for the provision of advanced television 
        services;
          (2) limit the broadcasting of ancillary or 
        supplementary services on designated frequencies so as 
        to avoid derogation of any advanced television 
        services, including high definition television 
        broadcasts, that the Commission may require using such 
        frequencies;
          (3) apply to any other ancillary or supplementary 
        service such of the Commission's regulations as are 
        applicable to the offering of analogous services by any 
        other person, except that no ancillary or supplementary 
        service shall have any rights to carriage under section 
        614 or 615 or be deemed a multichannel video 
        programming distributor for purposes of section 628;
          (4) adopt such technical and other requirements as 
        may be necessary or appropriate to assure the quality 
        of the signal used to provide advanced television 
        services, and may adopt regulations that stipulate the 
        minimum number of hours per day that such signal must 
        be transmitted; and
          (5) prescribe such other regulations as may be 
        necessary for the protection of the public interest, 
        convenience, and necessity.
  (c) Recovery of License.--If the Commission grants a license 
for advanced television services to a person that, as of the 
date of such issuance, is licensed to operate a television 
broadcast station or holds a permit to construct such a station 
(or both), the Commission shall, as a condition of such 
license, require that either the additional license or the 
original license held by the licensee be surrendered to the 
Commission for reallocation or reassignment (or both) pursuant 
to Commission regulation.
  (d) Public Interest Requirement.--Nothing in this section 
shall be construed as relieving a television broadcasting 
station from its obligation to serve the public interest, 
convenience, and necessity. In the Commission's review of any 
application for renewal of a broadcast license for a television 
station that provides ancillary or supplementary services, the 
television licensee shall establish that all of its program 
services on the existing or advanced television spectrum are in 
the public interest. Any violation of the Commission rules 
applicable to ancillary or supplementary services shall reflect 
upon the licensee's qualifications for renewal of its license.
  (e) Fees.--
          (1) Services to which fees apply.--If the regulations 
        prescribed pursuant to subsection (a) permit a licensee 
        to offer ancillary or supplementary services on a 
        designated frequency--
                  (A) for which the payment of a subscription 
                fee is required in order to receive such 
                services, or
                  (B) for which the licensee directly or 
                indirectly receives compensation from a third 
                party in return for transmitting material 
                furnished by such third party (other than 
                commercial advertisements used to support 
                broadcasting for which a subscription fee is 
                not required),
        the Commission shall establish a program to assess and 
        collect from the licensee for such designated frequency 
        an annual fee or other schedule or method of payment 
        that promotes the objectives described in subparagraphs 
        (A) and (B) of paragraph (2).
          (2) Collection of fees.--The program required by 
        paragraph (1) shall--
                  (A) be designed (i) to recover for the public 
                a portion of the value of the public spectrum 
                resource made available for such commercial 
                use, and (ii) to avoid unjust enrichment 
                through the method employed to permit such uses 
                of that resource;
                  (B) recover for the public an amount that, to 
                the extent feasible, equals but does not exceed 
                (over the term of the license) the amount that 
                would have been recovered had such services 
                been licensed pursuant to the provisions of 
                section 309(j) of this Act and the Commission's 
                regulations thereunder; and
                  (C) be adjusted by the Commission from time 
                to time in order to continue to comply with the 
                requirements of this paragraph.
          (3) Treatment of revenues.--
                  (A) General rule.--Except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B), all proceeds obtained 
                pursuant to the regulations required by this 
                subsection shall be deposited in the Treasury 
                in accordance with chapter 33 of title 31, 
                United States Code.
                  (B) Retention of revenues.--Notwithstanding 
                subparagraph (A), the salaries and expenses 
                account of the Commission shall retain as an 
                offsetting collection such sums as may be 
                necessary from such proceeds for the costs of 
                developing and implementing the program 
                required by this section and regulating and 
                supervising advanced television services. Such 
                offsetting collections shall be available for 
                obligation subject to the terms and conditions 
                of the receiving appropriations account, and 
                shall be deposited in such accounts on a 
                quarterly basis.
          (4) Report.--Within 5 years after the date of 
        enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the 
        Commission shall report to the Congress on the 
        implementation of the program required by this 
        subsection, and shall annually thereafter advise the 
        Congress on the amounts collected pursuant to such 
        program.
  (f) Preservation of Low-Power Community Television 
Broadcasting.--
          (1) Creation of class a licenses.--Within 120 days 
        after the date of enactment of the Community 
        Broadcasters Protection Act of 1998, the Commission 
        shall prescribe regulations to establish a class A 
        television license to be available to licensees of 
        qualifying low-power television stations. Such license 
        shall be subject to the same license terms, and renewal 
        standards as the licenses for full-power television 
        stations except as provided in this section, and each 
        class A licensee shall be accorded primary status as a 
        television broadcaster as long as the station continues 
        to meet the requirements for a qualifying low-power 
        station in paragraph (2). Within 30 days after the 
        enactment of the Community Broadcasters Protection Act 
        of 1998, the Commission shall send a notice to the 
        licensees of all low-power televisions licenses that 
        describes the requirements for Class A designation. 
        Within 30 days after receipt of the notice, licensees 
        intending to seek Class A designation shall submit to 
        the Commission a certification of eligibility based on 
        the qualification requirements of this Act. Absent a 
        material deficiency, the Commission shall grant 
        certification of eligibility to apply for Class A 
        status. The Commission shall act to preserve the 
        contours of low-power television licensees pending the 
        final resolution of a Class A application. Under the 
        requirements set forth in subsection (f)(2) (A) and (B) 
        and subsection (f)(6) of this section, a licensee may 
        submit an application for Class A designation under 
        this paragraph only within 30 days after final 
        regulations are adopted. The Commission shall, within 
        30 days after receipt of an application that is 
        acceptable for filing, award such a class A television 
        station license to any licensee of a qualifying low-
        power television station.
          (2) Qualifying low-power television stations.--For 
        purposes of this subsection, a station is a qualifying 
        low-power television station if--
                  (A) during the 90 days preceding the date of 
                enactment of the Community Broadcasters 
                Protection Act of 1998--
                          (i) such station broadcast a minimum 
                        of 18 hours per day;
                          (ii) such station broadcast an 
                        average of at least 3 hours per week of 
                        programming that was produced within 
                        the market area served by such station, 
                        or the market area served by a group of 
                        commonly controlled stations that carry 
                        common local or specialized programming 
                        not otherwise available to their 
                        communities; and
                          (iii) such station was in compliance 
                        with the Commission's requirements 
                        applicable to low-power television 
                        stations; and
                  (B) from and after the date of its 
                application for a Class A license, the station 
                is in compliance with the Commission's 
                operating rules for full power television 
                stations; or
                  (C) the Commission determines that the public 
                interest, convenience, and necessity would be 
                served by treating the station as a qualifying 
                low-power television station for purposes of 
                this section, or for other reasons determined 
                by the Commission.
          (3) Common ownership.--No low-power television 
        station shall be disqualified for a class A license 
        based on common ownership with any other medium of mass 
        communication.
          (4) Issuance of licenses for advanced television 
        services to qualifying low-power television stations.--
        The Commission is not required to issue any additional 
        licenses for advanced television services to the 
        licensees of the class A television stations but shall 
        accept such license applications proposing facilities 
        that will not cause interference to any other broadcast 
        facility authorized on the date of filing of the Class 
        A advanced television application. In reviewing such 
        applications, the Commission shall consider the impact 
        of such a grant on the primary television viewing 
        audience of the applicant. Such new license or the 
        original license of the applicant shall be forfeited at 
        the end of the DTV transition. Low-power television 
        station licensees may, at the option of licensee, elect 
        to convert to the provision of advanced television 
        services on its analog channel, but shall not be 
        required to convert to digital operation until the 
        Commission requires the use of digital or other 
        advanced technologies by all full-power television 
        stations.
          (5) No preemption of section 337.--Nothing in this 
        section preempts section 337 of this Act.
          (6) Interim qualification.--
                  (A) Stations operating within certain 
                bandwidth.--The Commission may not grant a 
                Class A license to a low power television 
                station operating between 698 and 806 
                megahertz, but the Commission shall provide to 
                low power television stations assigned to and 
                temporarily operating in that bandwidth the 
                opportunity to meet the qualification 
                requirements for a Class A license. When such a 
                qualified applicant for a Class A license is 
                assigned a channel within the core spectrum, 
                the Commission shall simultaneously issue a 
                Class A license.
                  (B) Certain channels off-limits.--The 
                Commission may not grant a channel within the 
                core spectrum under this subsection that 
                includes any of the 175 additional channels 
                referenced in paragraph 45 of its February 23, 
                1998, Memorandum Opinion and Order on 
                Reconsideration of the Sixth Report and Order: 
                MM Docket No. 87-268. Within 18 months after 
                the date of enactment of the Community 
                Broadcasters Protection Act of 1998, the 
                Commission shall identify by channel, location, 
                and applicable technical parameters those 175 
                channels.
          (7) No interference requirement.--The Commission may 
        not grant a Class A license nor approve a modification 
        of a Class A license unless the applicant or licensee 
        shows that the Class A station for which the license or 
        modification is sought will not cause--
                  (A) impermissible interference within the 
                Grade B contour of any television station (as 
                of the date of enactment of the Community 
                Broadcasters Protection Act of 1998, or as 
                proposed in a minor change application filed on 
                or before such date) or the DTV service areas 
                provided in the DTV Table of Allotments, or 
                subsequently granted by the Commission prior to 
                the filing of a Class A application;
                  (B) interference within the protected contour 
                of any low power television station or low 
                power television translator station licensed, 
                authorized by construction permit, or with a 
                pending displacement application submitted 
                prior to the date on which the application for 
                a Class A license, or for the modification of 
                such a license, was filed; or
                  (C) impermissible interference within the 
                protected contour of 80 miles from the 
                geographic center of the areas listed in 
                section 22.625(b)(1) or 90.303 of the 
                Commission's regulations (47 C.F.R. 
                22.625(b)(1) and 90.303) for frequencies in--
                          (i) the 470-512 megahertz band 
                        identified in section 22.621 or 90.303 
                        of such regulations; or
                          (ii) the 482-488 megahertz band in 
                        New York.
  [(f)] (g) Evaluation.--Within 10 years after the date the 
Commission first issues additional licenses for advanced 
television services, the Commission shall conduct an evaluation 
of the advanced television services program. Such evaluation 
shall include--
          (1) an assessment of the willingness of consumers to 
        purchase the television receivers necessary to receive 
        broadcasts of advanced television services;
          (2) an assessment of alternative uses, including 
        public safety use, of the frequencies used for such 
        broadcasts; and
          (3) the extent to which the Commission has been or 
        will be able to reduce the amount of spectrum assigned 
        to licensees.
  [(g)] (h) Definitions.--As used in this section:
          (1) Advanced television services.--The term 
        ``advanced television services'' means television 
        services provided using digital or other advanced 
        technology as further defined in the opinion, report, 
        and order of the Commission entitled ``Advanced 
        Television Systems and Their Impact Upon the Existing 
        Television Broadcast Service'', MM Docket 87-268, 
        adopted September 17, 1992, and successor proceedings.
          (2) Designated frequencies.--The term ``designated 
        frequency'' means each of the frequencies designated by 
        the Commission for licenses for advanced television 
        services.
          (3) High definition television.--The term ``high 
        definition television'' refers to systems that offer 
        approximately twice the vertical and horizontal 
        resolution of receivers generally available on the date 
        of enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as 
        further defined in the proceedings described in 
        paragraph (1) of this subsection.