FCC Rejects Appeal Of Grant Of North Dakota FM
January 22, 2015 at 12:56 PM (PT)
The FCC has denied the Application for Review by TWO RIVERS BROADCASTING, INC. of the grant to CHRISTOPHER FALLETTI of a new FM at MEDINA, ND in FM Auction 93.
FALLETTI submitted the high bid of $21,000 but TWO RIVERS contended that he lacked reasonable assurance of the availability of his antenna site, a tower owned by TWO RIVERS principal JANICE INGSTAD. The Commission decided the case by applying the liberal curative amendment policy to auctioned permits rather than a strict "good cause" standard for allowing curative amendments.
Commissioner AJIT PAI, concurring with the decision, wrote, "Although today’s item reaches the correct result, the path to denying this Application for Review is far more complicated than it should have been. In 1998, the Commission stated that it was 'eliminat[ing] the reasonable assurance of site certification requirement for all broadcast and secondary broadcast new and major change applicants.' Instead, it indicated that it would 'rely on the strict enforcement of our existing construction requirements to ensure that winning bidders in future broadcast auctions construct their facilities in a timely manner.' Currently, however, the instructions for the application for a construction permit to build a commercial broadcast station advise: 'All applicants for broadcast facilities must have a reasonable assurance that the specified site will be available at the time they file FCC Form 301.' In my view, it is the tension between the Commission’s 1998 order and the instructions for filling out FCC Form 301 that is primarily responsible for the conflicting Commission precedents discussed in this item and the number of ongoing disputes regarding this issue. As a result, I hope that we will take steps forthwith to amend the instructions for FCC Form 301 to bring them in line with the policy set forth in today’s item."