November 2-9 NCE Radio Filing Window Fast Approaching

Posted on October 29th, 2021 by

Beginning at 12:01 AM Eastern on November 2, 2021, interested parties will be able to file applications under the NCE points system for new NCE-FM construction permits.  The applications are filed on Form 340 in the FCC’s Licensing and Managing System.  The announced procedures are very detailed, as are the instructions to the Form 340.  Applicants should carefully review the procedures and form instructions to ensure that their application meets all requirements.  The window will close at 6:00 p.m. Eastern on November 9, 2021.

Applicants are limited to filing 10 applications in the filing window.  That limit applies to attributable parties as well – i.e., an applicant and all parties attributable to that applicant (directors, officers) together have a limit of 10 applications.  If board members or officers serve on boards of other possible filers in the window, be sure to confirm whether those other entities are participating in the filing window in order to avoid going over the 10-application limit.  If the 10-application limit is exceeded, the FCC will only process the first 10 applications filed.

As a reminder, these applications require specific information and a separately prepared exhibit to prove that an applicant has reasonable assurance for any tower site not owned by the applicant.  The full name of the person contacted, the person’s telephone number, and whether the contact person is the tower owner, agent, or authorized representative must be uploaded as an exhibit to the application.  The earlier that site assurance can be obtained the better, as technical exhibits must be prepared in support of the application and affect points claims.

Applicants that file in the window must establish a public file in the proposed community of license and place a copy of the application in the file.  The file must be at a location that is accessible to the public during normal business hours.

The FCC has given no indication as to how quickly it will process the applications, but step one will be to determine and issue a list detailing which applications are singletons and which are mutually exclusive with other applications and must therefore be decided via a 307(b) preference or if that is not applicable, on the points system and any tiebreakers.

Typically, within a few weeks of the filing window closing, all applications become available in LMS so that parties can review and assess – on their own – whether an application is mutually exclusive with others, and if so, which applicant is likely to prevail.