Breakneck Speed for FCC LPFM Processing

Posted on December 17th, 2013 by

During the recent LPFM filing window, the FCC received nearly 3,000 applications for new LPFM stations.  The FCC is wasting no time processing these applications, issuing a dizzying array of dismissals, acceptances, and a long list of approximately 1600 mutually exclusive applications.

Some applications were not filed by the proper entity (a non-profit) or were submitted more than once, and the FCC has quickly dismissed these applications.

Full power stations should pay close attention to the LPFM proceedings.  Many applicants have requested waivers of the FCC’s minimum distance separation rules for interference purposes, and the FCC appears to be processing these applications via their daily broadcast applications public notices, accepting them for filing and inviting petitions to deny within 30 days.  The call signs of the stations for which a waiver is requested are listed.

On December 16th, the FCC issued a public notice identifying approximately 1600 mutually exclusive applications and announcing the opening of a 60-day settlement period and opportunities to file technical amendments or time-share agreements.  Notably, the FCC has not made either acceptability or grantability determinations for any of these applications, leaving to applicants the sometimes difficult task of having to work toward a solution with another applicant that may not even be viable.  Many of the MX groups are large (8-10 applicants), making settlements or technical amendments all the more difficult.  Those applications not settled, technically amended, or time-shared by the FCC’s deadline will proceed to a points determination based upon the points information supplied in each application filed in the window.

Some applications have already been the subject of informal objections.  One entity filed objections against nearly 250 applications for various reasons, including impossible or ineligible main studio locations, as well as ownership issues.