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Station Filed on Paper, Not Electronically

But Florida FM ends up with admonishment, avoiding fine

If you send your station license renewal application to the FCC on paper instead of electronically, does it still count?

Not according to the rules. But a Florida FM station now has convinced the commission’s staff to cancel a $7,000 fine in such a case.

Faith Bible College had appealed the notice of apparent liability against its station WTGF(FM) in Milton.

In 2003, the noncom station’s renewal application was due on Oct. 1, four months prior to the expiration date of Feb. 1, 2004. Having received no application via the required electronic means, the chief of the Audio Division of the Media Bureau in August of 2004 wrote to the college to tell it that its authority to operate WTGF had expired. The college asked for an STA and sent in its renewal, which was accepted.

In 2007, the FCC staff issued the proposed $7,000 for a failure to file a timely renewal application and for unauthorized operation after a license expired. The college replied that it shouldn’t have to pay because it had in fact submitted an application, though on paper.

“The staff has determined that a paper application dated Sept. 19, 2003, was submitted by Licensee,” the FCC now writes. “However, [Faith Bible College] was required to file its renewal application electronically. Licensees are responsible for knowing and observing the rules affecting their activities, including the timely submission of required forms. Untimely or improperly filed renewal applications disrupt the orderly processing of renewal applications in accordance with the staggered filing set forth in … the Rules.”

Because the station did tender a renewal application, the FCC canceled the fine and replaced it with an admonishment that it “improperly filed the renewal application and did not provide a showing of good cause.”