No More Than 10 to a Customer, Please: FCC Caps NCE Apps

The FCC is limiting the number of applications that one organization may file for new stations in the NCE FM window that opens today (Friday).
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The FCC is limiting the number of applications that one organization may file for new stations in the NCE FM window that opens today (Friday).

The limit is 10 applications for new stations.

“This means that any party, be that party an individual, corporation, partnership, or whatever, may hold an attributable interest in no more than a total of 10 applications for new stations to be filed during the window,” writes Harry Cole, an RW contributor, at law firm Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth PLC’s CommLaw Blog.

“If the FCC determines that a party happens to have such interests in more than 10, then only the first 10 (based on file numbers, which reflect the order in which applications are filed) will be processed; the rest will be summarily dumped by the commission,” Cole wrote.

The limit applies only to applications for new stations filed during the October window. Major mod applications, which may also be filed during the window, do not count.

“Similarly, any already pending application which was not filed during the October 2007 window does not count toward the limit,” Cole pointed out.

The commission said in its announcement that the overwhelming majority of comments supported the 10-station limit.

“Many parties emphasized that the proposed 10 application limit would permit the orderly processing of applications,” it stated. “The overwhelming majority of individual commenters generally argued that the 10 application limit would foster localism and diversity.”

Alaska Educational Radio System had argued for a limit of five, citing the experience of past low-power TV windows.

The window is open Oct. 12–19.

The FCC also said that the large number of comments it received — some 10,000 — “underscores the importance of the upcoming NCE FM filing window and the high level of public interest in that window and in the NCE FM service.”

Related

EMF Had Opposed Cap

The 10-station NCE cap goes against the hopes of Educational Media Foundation, which the FCC says was the only party that argued against any method of limiting applications.