A Few Notes on LMS

Posted on March 31st, 2015 by

What is the LMS, you ask? That is a good question, and one we hope every broadcaster is asking. LMS stands for “license management system” and it is poised to become the replacement for the CDBS online filing system, which broadcasters use to file applications and reports with the FCC.

Why should you care? Because it is already here for full power, Class A and LPTV construction permit and license applications, and is probably pretty near for those same applications by all broadcasters, or for other forms used by radio stations. So far, the FCC has added a form at a time, keeping it on the TV side for now.

We have a few early observations about LMS:

First, it still appears to be a work in progress, with the display of current authorizations and other license information being a little hit and miss in terms of accuracy. For example, license expiration dates are not always accurate. Second, upon filing a license application (and we presume a CP application, as well), applicants/contacts are not emailed when the FCC acts on the application. So you either have to check LMS for status, or wait until the FCC’s daily releases report on the action, usually about 3-4 days later.   Third, once an application is granted, LMS doesn’t produce a copy of the new authorization – you have to access the public CDBS to find the authorization. And fourth, instead of being at the top of the FCC applications list in the public CDBS, the new LMS actions appear at the bottom of the list (we don’t know why). They have a special code, too – “LMApplication”.  And the traditional FCC file number has no letter abbreviation in front to help you figure out what kind of application it was. Instead, the file number is just a 10-digit number.

One more thing. LMS uses a “smart” form, known as Form 2100. Eventually, it will be the only form used by broadcast stations, with a series of sections, schedules or questions popping up depending on the action a station is trying to take. No ready-made blocks appear for explanations or exhibits – you just add them all at the end by uploading one or more PDFs with explanations or exhibits.

It’s all new, and we’re hopeful the FCC will refine it before expanding it to more stations or forms. Be assured, it takes some getting used to.