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How Many Pending FM Translators Could Be Licensed?

FCC works to electronically release LPFM applications

More than 1,000 pending FM translator applications from the Auction 83 window will survive FCC processing, according to experts here in Las Vegas.

Wilkinson Barker Knauer attorney Peter Oxenford believes that figure is low. He praised the commission for working to balance the spectrum needs of both those who want FM translators as well as non-profits who plan to file for new LPFM licenses.

The FCC has been winnowing down the number of remaining pending FM translator applications and the agency is “close to announcing a settlement window” for the remaining apps, according to Audio Division Chief Peter Doyle.

Speaking to attendees here for the NAB Show, Doyle said the agency is on-track with its plans to open a window in October for noncommercial entities to apply for an LPFM. The Audio Division hopes to electronically release LPFM applications, with the goal of getting nonprofits to begin completing their station applications in June, he said.

And what’s next for FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai’s call for an AM revitalization initiative at the commission?

That’s “ultimately an eighth floor call,” according to Doyle, who ticked off regulatory barriers the agency has lifted over the years to help AM owners, like allowing more AMs to retransmit their signal on FM translators.

FM Translator Roulette Begins