On October 16th The Senate and The House of Representatives passed a Senate-brokered bill to fully reopen the U.S. government and raise its debt ceiling. This means the Federal government should be back in operation on sometime on October 17th. It may take a few hours on reopening day for all FCC systems to return online. Next the FCC will address the Low Power FM Radio Filing window which was set to open on October 15th. Nexus will be working alongside our allies to reach out to the FCC to ask for a slight delay of the LPFM filing window. If the government opens on Thursday October 17, we would be into day 3 of the filing window. The FCC might extend the window by three or four days, or they might postpone the window to next month as suggested by Nexus, recent and other LPFM advocacies. Other filings that were due to the Commission between October 1 and October 17 would be due either on Friday or Monday based on what time of the day the FCC reopens for business.
Clearly this makes it impossible for anyone to properly prepare an LPFM radio application. The Commission cannot reasonably expect the public to prepare, coordinate, secure and file a complete application within the two week period beginning October 15th, should the shutdown end in a week or two. The Commission shut down today without a word about how an extended shutdown would affect the scheduled window dates. Though unreasonable, we must continue to expect that the window will open as scheduled. We are hoping they will do the right thing and delay the window a few weeks to allow the public to finalize engineering, tower agreements, etc prior to filing an application. Without the delay, the quality of the apps received will be poor and will not properly and fairly serve the public interest. Continue reading
One major change in the rules is the use of second adjacent waivers. These are available to those areas that don’t have any fully spaced channels. Keeping in mind that though a second adjacent might be available, they must be backed up by solid engineering studies that prove the calculated interference zone will not affect any listeners to the affected existing second adjacent facility. Some are fairly simple, once you have calculated the interference zone. If inside that zone, there are no buildings or four lane highways, it would likely be a grantable waiver. However, usually where a second adjacent waiver is needed would be in highly populated areas. So that kills most attempts at siting these stations using this method. Continue reading
In many ways, LPFM stations are just like any other radio station: they must comply with FCC regulations regarding interference, indecency and emergency response, and their signal can be heard with an ordinary FM radio. The similarities end there. In… Continue reading