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Geotargeting Rule Change Takes Effect

Stations can apply for experimental authorization under Part 5

The new rules allowing FM geotargeting have now taken effect.

As we reported last month, the FCC released a report and order revising its rules to permit limited, voluntary program origination on FM boosters. 

This is the decision that effectively allows FM broadcasters in the United States to begin implementing ZoneCasting, the controversial geotargeting technology from GeoBroadcast Solutions. 

The change was set to become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, which happened on April 16. The commission says its report and order thus is effective as of May 16.  

The practice is limited to three minutes per hour. Until final rules are established, local booster origination will require a one-year, renewable experimental authorization.

[Related: “The FCC’s Final Rules for Geotargeting Are Still Pending”]

A licensee that has an existing booster should request experimental authorization under section 5.203. A licensee that seeks new booster stations for the purpose of originating programming must obtain a construction permit and license for under Part 74 and concurrently file a separate request for experimental authorization to originate programming.  

The experimental authorizations are subject to the outcome of any subsequent decisions in the FCC’s further notice of proposed rulemaking.