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FM Auction Winner Fined $3,000

FCC says James Lout filed CP application late

The FCC fined James Lout $3,000 for late-filing an application to build a new FM at New Llano, La.

But the agency did grant his request to waive the deadline and has accepted his application for filing.

Lout took part in Auction 93 and by April, the agency notified him he was the winning bidder for the FM CP in New Llano, La. Winning bidders were to file a Form 301 long-form application for a construction permit by May 29.

The agency says Lout didn’t file his until June 7 and he asked for a deadline waiver at the same time, telling the commission he didn’t get the notice about the auction closing procedures and had no attorney until later in the process.

Normally a winning bidder that doesn’t file the long-form application on time is treated as if he or she defaulted and the application is dismissed. However the commission does make exceptions “for good cause.”

The agency decided that up until the latest snafu, Lout had complied with all previous Auction 93 requirements, including all filing and payment obligations, and was found to be a qualified bidder.

In its decision this week, the FCC found no bad faith on his part.

That’s why the commission decided flexibility in this case was warranted. The agency says it’s in the public interest not to delay new FM service to New Llano, La. by having to reauction the FM construction permit and granted Lout’s request. But it still fined him for apparently filing the form late.

He has 30 days to appeal or pay the fine.