First Phase of New FCC Application System Launched

Posted on October 30th, 2014 by

About a month ago, with little fanfare, the FCC issued a public notice announcing the availability of the first phase of a new broadcaster e-filing system called the Licensing and Management System (LMS). LMS will ultimately replace the current CDBS system used for filing broadcast applications. It has been in the works for years.

For now, the initial launch of LMS will apply only to full power TV stations that seek to file applications for construction permits (formerly Form 301) and applications for a license to cover a construction permit (formerly Form 302-DT). These applications will now be part of a new single form called FCC Form 2100 that will eventually replace all of the existing radio and TV services forms.

Interestingly, making full power TV stations the “guinea pigs” for the new system is mostly a non-starter because of a current freeze on applications that expand existing coverage areas. There will be a few exceptions, but the new system and form will go mostly unused for several months. But TV stations not participating in the incentive auction should take note of the new system and form. Why, you ask? Well, if a station is repacked to a different channel after the auction, it will have the privilege of filing a Form 2100 application to get a permit for its new facilities, and then get another chance to use the form to get licensed after construction.

We’ve played around with the form and LMS, and we surmise that it is designed to be as dummy-proof as possible, though there are some oddly worded questions that are different from the standard application questions broadcasters are accustomed to. In total, the application and questions feel much more like the Universal Licensing System, though without the odd Java applets and other grey screens.

All other broadcasters should stand by – the FCC will slowly migrate all forms to the new system, announcing them periodically as they collapse old forms into the new one and make the new form available for use.