LPFM/translator proceeding open for comment


The FCC proposal that would set market-based targets for the establishment of new LPFM stations and also clear the deck of some 6,500 FM translator applications has made it into the Federal Register. That means that remarks pro and con are now being accepted.

The deadline for comments is 8/29/11, with reply comments due two weeks later on 9/12/11.

Summarizing the proceeding, which is pursuant to the Local Community Radio Act passed by Congress late last year and signed into law early in 2011, FCC wrote, “The item tentatively finds that a previously adopted cap on translator applications is inconsistent with the LCRA’s directives, and tentatively concludes that a market-specific processing policy would most faithfully implement Section 5 of the LCRA.  The item also considers whether the Commission should take additional steps to prevent the trafficking of translator construction permits, and whether translators from Auction No. 83 should be allowed to rebroadcast the signals of AM stations at night.”

The FCC proposition suggests that a minimum number of LPFMs be allocated to each market depending on size, and any availabilities remaining immediately be turned over to translator applications. In markets where there are no apparent availabilities, all pending translator applications would be dismissed immediately, and in other markets, the FCC would begin processing them.

Details on the proposal can be found here and here.