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Media Bureau Releases LPFM Spectrum Availability Program

Goal to help narrow focus on viable translator applications

We reported the FCC intended to release data to help engineering consultants help their clients get a handle on which FM translator applications to focus on pursuing that are still pending from the Auction 83 window.

In its new processing guidelines, the agency has imposed a national cap of 50 translator applications and a market-based limit of one application per entity for some 156 markets.

The commission has now released the spectrum availability analysis program and data files it used in its analysis of LPFM spectrum availability in 156 radio markets. A description of the Media Bureau’s methodology and the summary results of its analysis appear in Appendices A and B of its recent Fourth Report and Order on LPFM.

The commission relied on this same methodology to craft new processing rules for FM translator applications that remain pending from the 2003 Auction 83 window. These include the requirement to protect identified LPFM channel/point combinations within the pertinent market grid to avoid application dismissal.

“To minimize burdens on applicants and facilitate the efficient processing of translator applications and amendments, protected channel/point combinations shall consist of all but only those combinations identified by this program and the CDBS records used to generate the final versions of Appendices A and B” shortly before the 4th R&O is adopted, noted the agency.

The program that the FCC used for its LPFM analysis can be downloaded here. It provides access to the code, center-city coordinates for each market and other related files.

Users should pay particular attention to the Readme.txt file in the zip file that describes the contents of the package, notes the agency.