WASHINGTON — Last week, the Federal Communications Commission issued a decision denying a Petition for Reconsideration of its 2017 decision to relax the rules on the permissible locations of FM translators for AM stations.
FM translators can be located anywhere within the greater of the AM station’s 2 mv/m contour, or a circle with a 25 mile radius from the AM station’s transmitter site. The rule had previously required that translators be located within the lesser of those two limiting factors.
Prometheus Radio Project, an LPFM advocacy group, was the petitioner and asked for a stay of its effect, arguing that the change would impact the area in which LPFM stations could locate their stations if a need to change transmitter sites arose.
“Prometheus also raised procedural objections about the way in which the order was adopted,” David Oxenford wrote in a recent blog post in broadcastlawblog.com. Regarding the commission’s rejection: “the FCC rejected the Petition for Reconsideration, finding that it was properly adopted, and that Prometheus had not demonstrated that the change in the area in which translators could be located would have a significant impact on LPFM site availability.”
Oxenford continued: Broadcasters “who received the Informal Objection should not start celebrating yet. This week’s decision was certainly good news — but it has not resolved all the issues raised by the LPFM advocates.”