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FCC Swamped With AM Applications

FCC Swamped With AM Applications

FM translators, AM applications and digital radio all made the top hit parade of important topics discussed in the FCC Update panels at the NRB convention in Charlotte, N.C. this weekend.
The commission received more than 13,000 applications for FM translator frequencies recently. It expected 3,000, said Nina Shafran, deputy chief of the FCC’s Audio Division.
Two percent of those who filed, did so for more than 50 percent of the frequencies. The agency is concentrating on processing the unopposed applications first. Those total about 3,800.
“If we add 3,800 new FM translators, we will double the amount of FM translators on air today,” said Shafran.
Several people filed multiple applications. The commission is asking those filers to weed out the applications they don’t need.
For AM roughly 2,000 applications poured into the commission during the recent filing window. Most of those appear to be for new stations, said Shafran.
The commission hopes to make all the proposals available for review on its CDBS system soon, she said.
Panelists briefly covered digital radio. The agency received 12 comments on the so-called dual antenna issue, the proposition to allow stations use two antennas to send their combined analog and digital signals.
Broadcasters who sought the permission say it would be a lower-cost implementation for digital radio.
Most of the comments received on the issue were supportive, but the FCC has not begun drafting anything on the issue, said Shafran.