NAB Files Comments In FCC's LPFM/Translator Proceeding
September 6, 2011 at 4:44 PM (PT)
The NAB's comments on the low-power FM and FM translator proceeding at the FCC challenge the Commission's position giving priority to preserving LPFM possibilities to the detriment of translator applications, asking the Commission to revise its approach "to fully reflect actual market-level opportunities for LPFM and FM translator stations, and to process long-pending FM translator applications to the maximum extent possible." Instead, the NAB says, the proposed approach should "rely on ARBITRON Metro Markets to assess the market- based availability of LPFM opportunities, instead of the center-city grids set forth in the Notice," and adds that "pending translator applications should not be dismissed in markets where, following dismissal, there would not be any opportunities for future LPFM stations."
Also, the NAB contends that because multiple LPFMs might fit on a single channel, the proposal's procedure that would dismiss pending translator applications "if the number of available LPFM channels is less than the proposed LPFM channel floor, even if the number of available LPFM locations exceeds the proposed LPFM channel floors" should be revised. Another NAB contention is that mutually-exclusive translator applicants should be allowed to settle when the number of LPFM opportunities are not reduced below the LPFM channel floor for the market.
The comments also ask the Commission to amend its policy of restricting the use of FM translators to rebroadcast AM signals to only translators authorized as of MAY 1ST, 2009. "We agree with the Commission that, with the passage of the (Local Community Radio Act of 2010), the time is right to amend this policy," writes the NAB. "We note in particular that eliminating the date restriction will not reduce potential opportunities for future LPFM stations."