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LPFM/Translator Comment Deadline Extended

Hurricane Irene cited in two-week addition

The FCC has extended deadlines to file public comments on its recent proposals to fit more low-power FMs into the FM band as well as resolve pending FM translator applications.

Originally the deadline to file comments on the FCC’s proposed rules was Aug. 29, with replies by Sept. 12. REC Networks asked for a two-week extension, citing business disruptions from Hurricane Irene.

The commission has decided that circumstances justified the extra time. The new deadlines for filing comments and reply comments to Dockets 99-25 and 07-172 are Sept. 6 and Sept. 20 respectively.

In a Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC is looking for public input on a proposed processing policy for thousands of pending Auction 83 FM translator applications. It proposes to open a new application window for LPFMs by summer 2012.

The commission tentatively has decided on a tiered, market-by-market approach for determining how many LPFMs and FM translators can fit in a market, and seeks comment on that. It also proposes to dismiss all pending FM translator applications in markets where there’s not enough spectrum for LPFMs, as well as to process translator applications in markets that meet the LPFM channel “floor” criteria.

The agency plans to drop a cap of 10 FM translator applications per entity; it seeks comments on that as well as ways to prevent trafficking of FM translator construction permits and whether to expand opportunities for AM stations to rebroadcast their signals on FM translators.

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