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FCC Announces Auction 93 Freeze

Auction is planned for early next year

The FCC has frozen certain FM applications as it prepares for Auction 93 next March.

As of Oct. 24, the commission froze any applications proposing to modify any of the 123 vacant non-reserved band FM allotments involved in the auction, as well as petitions and counterproposals that propose a change in channel, class, community or reference coordinates for any of the auction allotments, plus all applications, petitions and counterproposals that fail to fully protect any of the allotments.

The law firm Fletcher Heald & Hildreth summarized the FCC’s action in a blog post and noted that such freezes are typical as the commission tries to avoid conflicts with auction proposals that could hurt the process.

The freeze will remain in effect until the day after the deadline for Auction 93 long-form applications, which will likely be in early summer.

The law firm also observed on its blog: “Curiously, the freeze notice does not announce a freeze on any and all minor mod applications (for commercial or noncommercial stations) during the filing window for short-form (Form 175) applications for Auction 93. (The Form 175 filing window hasn’t been announced yet – look for that announcement in a couple of weeks.) Such blanket freezes barring all minor mods during the short-form window have been standard operating procedure in the last three FM auctions.”

Given that history, the law firm said, someone hoping to file a minor mod that doesn’t fit into the just-announced freeze categories “might want to plan on getting it filed before the opening of the Form 175 filing period, just to be on the safe side. Otherwise, your ability to file could be delayed by a month or more.”

The channels involved are here (PDF), courtesy of Fletcher Heald.