The vast majority of active full power TV stations, 96 percent, are ready or will be ready to make the transition to full digital service by the Feb. 17, 2009 deadline, according to a status report released by the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday (Aug. 27).
Of the 1,798 active TV stations, 1,002 or 56 stations are broadcasting in digital and just need to flip the switch by the deadline. Another 736, or 41 percent haven't completed construction yet, but expect to digital services to be fully operational by the deadline.
About 3 percent or 56 stations will take advantage of FCC "unique technical challenges" rules and will be serving at least 85 percent of the service population with digital services by the deadline.
Only one station said it would not be able to complete construction of its digital facility until after the deadline and will be dark for a brief period of time.