Cross-Service FM Translator Rush Continues

Posted on December 28th, 2017 by

This month, the FCC has been accepting for filing numerous singleton applications that were originally filed in its latest Auction 99 cross-service FM translator window. With a 15-day petition to deny period on these applications, that means we could see the first grants from the window very soon, perhaps the first week of January 2018. That means many AM stations will soon be holding construction permits in their hands, poised to build out and launch – for the first time — an FM service retransmitting their AM signal. It’s been a boon for many AM stations, accomplishing just what the FCC meant by the term “AM Revitalization.”

But wait, there’s more. The last of the cross-service FM translator opportunities for AM stations is now set in stone. It’s called Auction 100, and any Class A, B, C or D AM station that has not previously participated in any of the cross-service FM translator filing windows can file an application seeking an FM translator permit.

As the Auction 100 notice states, the filing window will open on January 25, 2018 and close at 6 p.m. EST on January 31, 2018.  Applicants must file the technical portion of Form 349 and, because this is technically an auction proceeding, must also file FCC Form 175. The Form 349 is filed in the FCC’s CDBS system and can be loaded up and prepared in advance of the filing window. But the Form 175 cannot be accessed until the 1st day of the filing window, and must be filed in the FCC’s Auction System. If both a Form 349 and Form 175 are not filed by an applicant, the application will be dead on arrival.

If your station is in that final number qualified to participate, prepare now, and double check everything before filing. The FCC’s dismissals from earlier windows make clear that they are unforgiving when it comes to errors.