The gold rush is on for NCE applications.
Friday, Oct. 19 is the deadline for those applying for new noncom FM stations in the reserved band (Channels 201–220) and major change applications. The application window opened last Friday, Oct. 12.
The window has meant business for some consulting engineers. One source told me during the recent NAB Radio Show that he already had as much work as he could handle and was turning down those who were late to seek help with their applications.
Anticipating pent-up demand and also wanting to prevent spectrum hoarding, the commission is capping the number of applications each party can file to 10. The commission means business, too. If someone goes over the cap, the agency will process only the first 10 applications that were filed and dismiss the others.
We had previously reported the FCC had proposed the limit, and as reported last week in RW Newsbytes, the agency said it received more than 10,000 public comments on the issue, with most favoring a cap.
Some of those in favor were Native Public Media, Prometheus Radio Project, Free Press, Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, National Federation of Community Broadcasters, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ, Station Resource Group, Public Radio Capital, Pacifica Foundation, Public Radio International, California Public Radio, Western States Public Radio, College Broadcasters, Inc., and Eastern Region Public Media.
Alaska Educational Radio System favored a five-application limit, saying it would lead to speedier processing while some, such as Network of Glory, thought the limit could be higher, and spectrum hoarding addressed with a filing fee.
Only Educational Media Foundation argued for no limits, saying the NCE FM application form is so complex that that alone would deter speculative applications.