The FCC is questioning the integrity of its own FM translator licensing procedures.
Deep in its latest LPFM rules text, the agency explained why it now will cap at 10 the number of applications it will process for any given company seeking FM translators. It mentioned some 7,000 applications still pending from Auction 83 and said its new cap will affect only a very small number of applicants that filed for thousands.
Commenting on this “mass dismissal” of applications, the commission said it was mindful of the costs those filers have incurred, but it said that processing all 7,000 would frustrate its attempts to get new LPFMs on the band and that it’s apparent that translator filings “have precluded or diminished LPFM filing opportunities in many communities.”
It counted 861 filers that submitted 13,377 translator proposals. Eighty percent of those applicants filed for 10 or fewer, while the remaining 20 percent filed for a lot more, some for up to 50 translators or more. And Radio Assist Ministries and Edgewater Broadcasting, which are commonly owned, filed for the most; those entities asked for more than 4,200 translators just between them.