FM Translator Operators Press FCC for Waivers
regional noncommercial FM broadcasters — Hope Christian Church of Marlton,
Marlton, N.J., Bridgelight, Old Bridge, N.J. and Calvary Chapel of the Finger
Lakes, Farmington, N.Y. — are asking the FCC to rethink its one-to-a-market
limitation on translator applications.
Petition for Partial Reconsideration filed this week with the commission, the licensees
say the limitation announced recently by the agency as it figures out how to
process pending FM translator applications as well as new applications for
low-power FMs will effectively block regional expansion in the name of
preventing trafficking in translator authorizations.
the licensees operate several regional noncommercial FMs as well as FM
translators. They have several pending FM translator applications; Hope has 45,
Bridgelight has 17 and CCFL has 17.
call the new one-to-a market cap on processing FM translator applications
counterproductive and ask the commission to adopt waiver procedures for the
single application limit. A waiver policy, say the licensees, would help stop
the abuses the cap is intended to address while allowing parties to go forward
with more than one translator application in a market where anti-trafficking is
not implicated and where there would not be a negative impact on future LPFM
allocations, argue the broadcasters in comments filed to the commission this
waiver policy is more workable and better serves the purposes of implementing
the Local Community Radio Act than the FCC’s wholesale dismissal policy,
according to the licensees, who propose criteria for a waiver policy that
includes “the 60 dBu contour of the translator application would not overlap
with the 60 dBu contour of any commonly-controlled application.”
particular waiver condition satisfies the commission’s concern about multiple
filers for the same community and issues of spectrum efficiency, believe the
commission recently announced new processing guidelines for some 6,000 pending
FM translator applications, imposing a national cap of 50 applications per one
entity nationwide and a local cap of one application per company per market.
The agency wants to eliminate processing of multiple applications by a single
applicant for a single market because it deems such applications as speculative
and likely to hinder the auction process.
one application per market cap unfairly harms those local and regional
applicants that might have filed applications in a limited number of markets
for the precise purpose of reaching widely separated communities in a
geographically far-flung market,” argue the broadcasters.
comments to docket 99-25 were due earlier in the week and replies are due by