FCC Seeks Comment On Proposed Translator Application Policy Changes
July 12, 2011 at 11:31 AM (PT)
At its open meeting TODAY (7/12), the FCC issued a Third Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making on implementing the Local Community Radio Act, specifically seeking comment on policy changes in the processing of FM Auction No. 83 translator applications based on spectrum available for LPFMs in some markets.
The move would life the translator application freeze (instituted in 2007) in smaller markets but would lead to the dismissal of pending translator applications in markets with limited available space for new LPFM stations. The Commission also is asking for comment on opening an LPFM application window no later than SUMMER 2012.
In addition, the notice asks for comment on LCRA licensing directives to balance the competing demands of LPFM and FM translator station applicants for spectrum by requiring the FCC to ensure that licenses are available for LPFM and FM translator stations; licensing decisions are based on community needs; and translator and LPFM stations remain equal in status. As part of that analysis, the Commission has proposed eliminating the 2007 ten-application cap for translator applications and replacing it with a policy based on the availability of spectrum for LPFM stations in specific markets.
Finally, the notice asks for comment on whether the FCC should restrict trafficking of translator construction permits and whether FM translators with applications pending as of MAY 1, 2009 should be allowed to rebroadcast AM stations in the same manner as translators authorized prior to that date.