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FCC Tries to Clarify FM Translator Filing Process

Media Bureau issues more guidance for those who have FM translator applications pending from Auction 83

The Media Bureau is trying to clarify the filing process for those who have FM translator applications pending from Auction 83.

That’s because while the agency recently tried to let filers know how to determine whether a potential translator applicant was trying to get an allocation that may impact where a future low-power FM might be located, the commission can tell from the applications turned in so far there’s confusion about the process.

The guidance concerns those submitting applications in the April 1–19 filing window for 639 of the so-called “tech box” FM transmitter applications.

The bureau says a number of FM translator applications have been turned in without the required “preclusion” showing or were otherwise defective in some way. The FCC broke down the top 156 radio markets by those that are “spectrum limited” or “spectrum available” for FM translators to save spectrum for an LPFM window expected to open in the fall.

Translator applicants need to show their preferred allocation meets a grid test and top-50 transmitter site test, we’ve reported.

However some applicants can change their previously-filed application by seeking a change in power, tower height, channel, location antenna pattern, for example. Asking for a technical amendment may trigger the need to file the preclusion showing, according to the FCC.

The agency spells out additional filing explanations in this notice.