Digital transmits so much farther than analog they were having problems giving them digital channels that would not overlap and interfere with someone else. The original plan was that on the cut off date, they would have to CEASE BROADCASTING!!!!! However the FCC has now changed their mind and the rules. Owners of LPTV's have until May 2006 to apply for a digital license. They must convert on channel in areas where a second channel is not available for simulcasting. In other words digital on means analog off, in order to use the same frequency.
Anytime their proposed signal would interfere with an existing full power station a notice is sent to the full power station, and if they will not accept the interference the license is denied. We have already had such requests for stations in the area, like Muskogee, McAlester, Joplin, Tahlequah, Slegiman, and so on. We will deny any request that will cause interference in our DMA and think long and hard about interference anywhere within our -41db contour. Remember even Eureka Springs is outside our current DMA although that should be changing.
I have not heard a hard deadline for them. In fact they were talking about letting them remain analog after 2-17-2009 for a period of time. One thing for sure, if they are just now able to apply for a license the deadline won't be by the end of this year. A google search of LPTV and Digital will bring up all of this subject anybody would have the stomach to read.