FCC moves ahead on a couple of different fronts in the LPFM battle. Cliff notes version:
- The 2003 translator filing window question. The FCC has more or less stuck with it’s plan to keep a minimum number LPFM channels available in the top 150 markets. This also includes a 50 application limit for the country and no more than one application per market per applicant. Where conflicts occur, translator applicants get the chance to demonstrate how their application would not preclude LPFM opportunities.
- Modifies (eventually eliminates) the May 1, 2009 cut of date for cross service (AM to FM) translators.
- The establishment of new LPFM allocations under the criteria of disregarding the third adjacent channel contours.
- More stringent requirements for local programming and ownership, especially as a determining factor for mutual LPFM applications.
- Allows LPFM stations to own translators.
- New class LPFM is established; the LP250. The 250 watt LPFM stations are designed mainly for areas outside of top fifty markets or for previously licensed LP-100 stations that want to upgrade provided the minimum separation contours are met with existing stations.
The FCC has included the proposed rule changes as appendix A of FCC 12-28. Standard FCC comment and reply windows apply.
Looks like things are moving along pretty fast. Others have speculated at a filing window sometime later this year, I’ll not do that.