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Pending Translator Applications Have FCC’s Attention

Expect public notices on caps

The FCC isn’t naming an exact time frame for when the agency can open an application window for potential low-power FM owners, however officials speaking here in Dallas acknowledge the project has the chairman’s attention.

Audio Division Deputy Chief Jim Bradshaw says one of the first things the agency needs to figure out is what to do about four petitions for reconsideration filed by broadcasters protesting the commission’s proposed caps on FM translator applications.

In order to make sure there’s available spectrum in the top markets for both FM translators and LPFMs, the agency proposed that broadcasters who have pending FM translator applications cap those at one to a market and 50 to a company. That would force broadcasters to focus on the FM translators they intend to vigorously pursue.

There are some 6,500 pending FM translator applications from the 2003 window.

Before processing those apps further, Bradshaw said, the Media Bureau expects to issue notices laying out discrete steps, including deadlines that broadcasters would need to follow. The first such notice would likely impose the caps, he said during a regulatory session at the Radio Show.