Originally Posted by vttom
FWIW, I seem to recall that there is an appeals process WRT to getting waivers from local stations. If you're unable to get a usable picture from a specific network affiliate, and they've rejected your waiver to allow you to get that programming from a distant local over satellite, then you do have further options - vis a vis a waiver appeal.
However, I don't have a clue as to the process involved. I don't know if you go through the local affiliate, the satellite provider, or the FCC.
IMHO, all locals have adopted the practice of denying all waiver requests, banking on the fact that most people will not go through the trouble of appealing.
The trouble is most of the laws and rules were set up for analog tv signals and are only recently being updated or looked at in terms of digital signals.
It used to be that applying for a waiver was not even needed if one was predicted to be "unserved" by the adopted signal prediction method (Longley-Rice).
If one was not predicted as "unserved" by that method, yet knew they couldn't get the signal, they could "appeal" by demanding a signal test for which the station had to pay if it was confirmed there wasn't a Grade "B" or better signal with a stationary roof top antenna.
When the Dec '04 legislation passed "SHVERA", congress gave the FCC a year to investigate whether additional or alternate methods were needed for determining if people could receive a decent digital signal.
The FCC as it usually does, waited almost the full time and then sent a "report" to congress saying (among other things) that the exist L-R prediction method used for analog was basically fine for determining digital signal reception too.
The problem is the FCC says (they say it was part of the law that congress wrote) that if your satellite company offeres analog locals in your DMA, then signal tests can no longer be demanded.
The FCC is also on record as stating that "whether a person's satellite company offers analog locals or not has nothing do do with their eligibility for distant digitals. In fact. The law states that if your satellite company offers HD distants and also provides analog locals, the customer MUST subscribe to those analog locals in order to receive the digital distants.
So to put this in perspective (at least as I understand it):
In order to be eligible for digital distants it has to be determined that you are "unserved" for OTA analogs.
The method to determine that is the same old existing prediction method use for analog for years.
If that method is wrong (as if often was for analog and would even more likely be for digital), you apparently no longer have those same signal test options. IMO it was the threat of having to pay for individual signal tests that kept stations reasonable about granting waivers and this is the reason many no longer do.