Keep up with the latest developments and legal issues in the telecommunications and emerging technology sectors, with exclusive access to a comprehensive collection of telecommunications law news,...
The Federal Communications Commission at its July 12 open meeting took the first step toward implementing the Local Community Radio Act of 2010, a new law that allows the agency to approve more licenses to operate low-power FM radio stations in the country.
In a 4-0 vote, the commission released a third further notice of proposed rulemaking laying out a plan of action for clearing out the queue of pending translator station applications while also processing new applications for low-power FM community radio stations.
An application window for new low-power FM stations could be open as early as the summer of 2012, the FCC said.
The applications for new translators—low-power stations that can only rebroadcast the signal of a full-power station—would be processed for small markets and rural communities, under the agency's rulemaking.
In order to leave some space for new low-power FM stations, the commission is proposing to dismiss translator applications in larger markets where new translators would fill up any remaining available space appropriate for low-power stations.
In 2007, the FCC concluded that processing as many as 6,500 pending FM translator applications filed in Auction No. 83 would frustrate the development of low-power FM radio service. The agency at that time established a going-forward limit of 10 pending applications per applicant, but then imposed a freeze to permit the consideration of petitions for reconsideration of the limit.
The Local Community Radio Act requires the FCC to ensure that licenses are available for lower-power FM and FM translator stations, with licensing decisions based on community needs and translator and low-power FM stations always staying “equal” in status. As such, the NPRM seeks comment on these standards, and concludes that the existing 10-application cap is “inconsistent” with the Act's mandates.
In doing so, the FCC is proposing to adopt a translator application processing policy based on the availability of spectrum for low-power FM stations in specific markets.
Commenting on the FCC's action, Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), the lead sponsor of the Local Community Radio Act, said, “I am delighted to see that the FCC is moving forward to carry out legislation I championed for so many years. This is a major victory for community radio, and I urge the FCC to license as many LPFM stations as possible.”
By Paul Barbagallo
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)