FM translator hopefuls protest LPFM end-around


A group of 21 broadcasters who have FM translator applications which have been pending since 2003 have gathered behind the pen of Womble Carlyle Sandridge Rice attorney John Garziglia to protest a Prometheus/Educational Media Foundation proposal that could wipe out their chances if adopted by the FCC.

In a letter to the Commission, Garziglia wrote, “…EMF and Prometheus request that substantial changes be made midstream to the established rules and procedures for processing FM translator Auction No. 83 applications. EMF and Prometheus propose that any Auction No. 83 applicant that has not to date had an application granted should have ‘the opportunity to provide an engineering solution that would allow one of their pending applications be granted’ but thereafter, all remaining Auction No. 83 applications be subject to over-filings by applications for LPFM facilities. This was not contemplated by FCC rules pertaining to Auction No. 83 nor the Public Notice announcing Auction No. 83.”

The broadcasters find this to be patently unfair. “The EMF and Prometheus filings do not take into account the interests of the undersigned commercial radio broadcasters, nor do the EMF and Prometheus filings take into account the public interest in the reception of commercial radio broadcasting signals. Many commercial broadcasters, and the listening public, have now been waiting more than seven years since filing the Auction No. 83 FM translator applications for the enhanced service that such applications when acted upon will provide. The proposals set forth by Prometheus and EMF would substantially harm commercial broadcasters who relied upon the FCC’s rules and policies to file Auction No. 83 FM translator applications while leaving EMF with hundreds of applications pending.”

The remedy sought by the broadcasters is simple: “Rather than favoring only one Constituency, the FCC should largely follow its established Auction No. 83 auction procedures as explained in the attached filing submitted today in MM Docket No. 99-25.”