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NCE FM Filing Window Opens

It will be interesting to see how much demand there is this time around

The FCC Media Bureau has issued a reminder that its previously announced window to apply for new noncommercial educational FM new station construction permits will be open from tonight — Tuesday Nov. 2 at 12:01 a.m. EDT — until next Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m. EST.

The window is only for proposals in the FM reserved band, channels 201 to 220, which is 87.9 to 91.9 MHz.

Applications must be filed electronically on FCC Form 2100, Schedule 340 in the Bureau’s Licensing and Management System. The commission will accept no more than 10 applications from one applicant.

“This means that a party to an application filed in the window may hold attributable interests in no more than a total of 10 applications filed in the window.”

[Read: Procedures Are Published for NCE FM Window]

The number of FM educational stations has almost doubled in two decades, from 2,140 in the year 2000 to around 4,200 at the most recent count.

A 2007 NCE window yielded approximately 3,600 applications, of which about 2,700 were mutually exclusive, meaning applications involved geographic or spectral overlap. The FCC in that round eventually granted approximately 1,330 CPs for new NCE service, according to commission data.

But in 2021, because of the number of signals across the FM band, observers have told Radio World that it is unlikely that applicants in this window will be able to identify full-power NCE opportunities except in relatively rural areas with smaller populations.

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