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FCC Impose Freeze on Expanded Band AM Major Mods

FCC Impose Freeze on Expanded Band AM Major Mods

The Mass Media Bureau has stopped accepting applications for major changes in authorized AM expanded band stations. However, pending major change applications will be processed.
The reason for the freeze? The bureau hopes to soon issue a public notice anticipates issuing in the near future a public notice accepting for filing all pending AM expanded band major change applications determined to be in compliance with our technical rules. Minor change applications will continue to be accepted under established first-come, first-served basis.
As part of a plan to allow some AMs to move to a portion of the band where they would get more bandwidth, the commission developed an allotment plan for some AMs to move to the rarified air of 1605 kHz – 1705 kHz in 1991.
The commission issued a total of 65 permits for AM expanded band stations in 1997 and 1998. But the final allotment plan list included 88 stations, but the FCC accepted additional applications for stations that wanted to move to the expanded portion of the band.
The allotment plan became final on December 5, 2000. A freeze on the filing of major change applications will provide an opportunity to study new and complex AM expanded band licensing issues, including protection standards, facility classes, and eligibility requirements.
The bureau is also concerned that continuing to accept AM expanded band applications that specify new communities of license and propose relocating facilities substantial distances may be limiting opportunities for additional expanded band stations. A freeze will preserve the rights of potential applicants for new AM expanded band stations and the opportunity to use competitive bidding procedures to award these authorizations.