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FM Translator Window Opens

Window is for certain “singletons” pending from Auction 83

The FCC has opened a filing window for some “singleton” FM translator applications pending from Auction 83.

The window for construction permit applications for 104 applications opens today, Sept. 9, and closes Oct. 9.

The move is another attempt by the Media Bureau to process pending translator applications from Auction 83 before the FCC opens a window for low-power FM applications in October. The commission opened a similar window in July and a settlement window for competing applications in May.

The window is limited to what the FCC has been calling “tech box” proposals that don’t conflict with other proposals that remain pending from Auction 83. These singleton applications are exempt from auction. Applicants must file Form 349 applications electrically through the Media Bureau’s Consolidated Database System.

Applicants can make minor changes to the proposal, like changes in power, tower height, directional pattern or channel, according to the agency, but can’t make any changes that would conflict with another proposal. Any Form 349 proposal that differs from the most recent tech box proposal must include a preclusion showing for any tech box amendment specifying a transmitter site within 39 kilometers of any Appendix A market grid and/or at any location within any Top-50 spectrum limited market. (See procedures here.) The commission will dismiss filings sent to the agency without a preclusion showing.

Now is not the time to make major changes to an FM translator application, says the FCC, which notes that any Form 349 that differs from its underlying tech box proposal (as pending on June 16) is not protected from subsequent applications filed by those who want LPFM stations in their filing window, “and any authorization granted from that application may be subject to modification or cancellation as a result of conflicting LPFM window filings.”

How would an applicant know of the status of an FM translator application? After reviewing the documents, the FCC will issue CDBS-generated notices called “Broadcast Applications” listing those that the agency will accept for filing. Any Petition to Denys must be filed within 15 days of that notice.

FCC Opens Window for Pending FM Translator Applications
FCC Opens Settlement Period for Competing Auction 83 Applications