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FCC Sticks to Geotargeting Comment Deadline

Disappointed NAB cautions against a rush to judgment

Image from GBS filing of test results at KSJO(FM) showing the multipath family of curves
Image from GBS filing of test results at KSJO(FM) showing the multipath family of curves. Click image to read the report.

The FCC Media Bureau will not give NPR and the NAB extra time to comment in its geotargeting FM booster proceeding.

As we reported earlier, the commission is taking fresh comments right now in response to two test reports submitted by GeoBroadcast Solutions about its technology. The comment deadline is June 6, with replies due June 21.

NPR and the National Association of Broadcasters had asked for an extra two weeks to study the results, saying the technical material is voluminous and citing problems in locating information in the commission’s electronic databases.

“GeoBroadcast notes that it filed its most recent test report on March 30, 2022, and that the public has had ample opportunity to analyze its test results,” the Media Bureau now has ruled.

“We find NPR and NAB have not shown good cause in the Extension Request for extending the comment deadlines. It is the commission’s general policy that requests for extension of time will not be routinely granted. We agree with GeoBroadcast that the public interest will be best served by expeditious review of the GeoBroadcast test reports and other material in the record.”

The National Association of Broadcasters called the decision “both surprising and disappointing, especially since the commission has provided numerous extensions to GBS totaling over two years in length. We are not aware of a situation where the FCC has denied such a reasonable request, especially in a technical proceeding where documents were not readily available for examination.”

NAB, which is on record against the idea, urged the commission not to make “a rush to judgment on an issue that presents such significant concerns for the broadcast radio industry.”

Comments in this proceeding are to be filed in the  the commission’s ECFS system; refer to MB Dockets 20-401 and 17-105.

[Read the KSJO technical report.]

[Read the WRBJ technical report.]