FCC Hears Comments On LPFM Law's Effect On Translator Applications
January 14, 2011 at 5:23 AM (PT)
The Local Community Radio Act's passage has organizations visiting the FCC or filing comments to discuss the low-power FM law's impact on translators, specifically those from Auction 83 affected by Docket 99-25.
The NAB's JANE MAGO and ANN WEST BOBECK, accompanied by attorney JACK GOODMAN, met with the Media Bureau WEDNESDAY and told the Commission that Section 5 of the LCRA "cannot be read to create a preference for any particular secondary service."
The PROMETHEUS RADIO PROJECT told the Commission that while it thinks the four petitions to the FCC asking for reconsideration of the docket's ten application limit for translators under Auction 83, claiming that the Commission cannot revise its procedures for processing pending applications, are without merit, it believes that the process "must fulfill the requirement of the LCRA, which requires the FCC to ensure LPFM availability and create a balance of LPFMs and translators 'based on the needs of local communities.'"
But PROMETHEUS also said that the ten-application limit (the "ten cap"), according to new simulations, "likely will have a preclusive impact on LPFM spectrum availability in urban areas." PROMETHEUS has proposed opening an LPFM application window before addressing the pending Auction 83 applications.
REC NETWORKS filed comments saying that the Commission should move forward with Auction 83 applications but should first dismiss applications with "extreme patent defects" or from entities which did not own AM or FM stations on the day before the auction window. REC also proposed a new framework for interference protection for translators and elimination of IF interference limits for LPFMs, as well as changes to protection of LPTVs on channel 6 and the use of 87.5, 87.7, and 87.9 FM for LPFMs. And the organization offered a plan for setting priorities for translator applications, with FM translators planned to be used to fill in service for a co-owned AM getting top priority.
And a group of 21 broadcasters, including the CROMWELL GROUP, HANCOCK COMMUNICATIONS, and several others with pending Auction 83 applications, asked the FCC to move ahead with processing Auction 83 applications, saying that the LCRA provides that "the FCC cannot reject or fail to license a new Auction #83 translator application to a particular community if the FCC 'ensures' that there is spectrum space for a low-power FM license and an FM booster license in that same community.
"All the Commission needs to do is to issue a public notice stating that any long-form FCC Form 349 application filed by an Auction #83 FM translator applicant ... in order to be immediately granted must contain a showing that there is spectrum space for a low-power FM license and an FM booster license in the same community."