Cross-Service FM Translator Filing Window Ends August 2nd

Posted on July 31st, 2017 by

Class C and D AM stations have until 6:00 p.m. EDT August 2, 2017 to file for new FM translator permits.  The filing window opened on July 26, 2017 and has been designated Auction 99.  To be qualified, stations are reminded that both the technical portion of the Form 349 must be filed in CDBS, along with a complete Form 175 in the Integrated Spectrum Auction System.

While most are familiar with Form 349, the details on what must be submitted are very specific. And as for the Form 175, it can be very complicated for stations with complex ownership structures. The FCC’s instructions for participating in this filing window are set forth in this public notice.  We strongly recommend that participants watch the online tutorial (though the speaker on the video is quite monotone – to the point of maddening – the information is clear and helpful). And by all means, don’t wait until the last minute to file – the FCC’s systems are prone to extreme slow-downs or failure when they get crowded with logins and applicants. Once the deadline passes, the systems will be locked so Auction 99 filings can no longer be made.

Everyone has their fingers crossed that their translator tech info is not mutually exclusive with other stations, and therefore a singleton for which no auction or bidding is necessary to obtain a permit. We hear rumors that the FCC will issue a singleton list within 14 days of the August 2nd filing window closing. Stations that don’t make that list will be given a settlement opportunity to avoid an auction, but if settlement is not possible, things will proceed to a highest-bidder-wins auction.

If yours is a Class A or B AM station, a second window will be held, but precisely when is unknown, and turns to some degree on how quickly the FCC can process the applications from the first window.