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FCC Reinstates 14 Vacant FM Allotments

Most are in California, Colorado and Texas

FCC, FCC sealIf you’re looking for an FM opportunity, here’s a heads up: The Federal Communications Commission has reinstated 14 vacant allotments in four states and one U.S. territory.

This is the result of some bureaucratic changes over the years.

At one time the commission’s table listed all vacant FM allotments as well as channels and communities occupied by authorized facilities. In 2006, it removed allotments of authorized and awarded FM facilities to accommodate new application procedures for stations to change their communities of license. And now when an authorization is cancelled, the vacant FM channel is supposed to be reinstated in the FM Table, to be protected for spacing purposes and preserve the opportunity to license a future station in that community.

The 14 allotments being reinstated by the Audio Division of the Media Bureau had been removed from the table because a construction permit or license was granted; but they are vacant now because of the subsequent cancellation of the authorizations or dismissal of long-form auction applications.

So the commission is reinstating them. In future it said it plans periodically to update the FM Table to reinstate such allotments when this situation arises again.

The allotments in this case have already undergone notice and comment rule making, so the staff said there’s no need for further notice and comment.

The list of reinstated vacant allotments is below. Most are in California, Texas and Colorado. But depending on your idea of heaven, there are single allotments in the Virgin Islands and Iowa.

The Audio Division adds that its engineering analysis confirms that these vacant allotments meet minimum distance separation requirements. But it added that to prevent short-spacing, it adopted new site restrictions for Channels 261B at Coalinga, Calif., and 278C2 at Hereford, Texas. “Both are considered fully spaced allotments notwithstanding the subsequent grant of authorization to several stations that are providing contour protection to these allotments” under FCC rules. Also, Channels 261B at Coalinga, Calif., 271A at Ford City, Calif., and *275A at Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands are considered fully spaced allotments as well.

Community      Channel Added

Avenal, California — 269A

Coalinga, California — 261B

Dos Palos, California — 240A

Firebaugh, California — 234A

Ford City, California — 271A

King City, California — 275A

Lindsay, California — 277B1

Calhan, Colorado — 284C3

Idalia, Colorado — 231A

Asbury, Iowa — *254A (*238A was deleted)

Ganado, Texas — 235C1

Hereford, Texas — 278C2

Palacios, Texas — 259C1

Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands — *275A

(Channels with an asterisk may be used only by noncommercial educational broadcast stations. Learn about the FM Table of Allotments here.)