FCC details plans for moving ahead on LPFM applications

By Dru Sefton

The FCC announced Tuesday details of its plan for working through the more than 2,800 low-power FM (LPFM) applications that it received during the recent filing window.

Its first priority is identifying some 900 “singleton” applications that do not conflict with others filed during the window. The commission will start granting those permits next month, according to the public notice, and will then give remaining applicants a chance to resolve conflicts with each other. The FCC will then move to identifying tentative selectees.

“It is clear . . . that the FCC is working quickly to try and wrap up much of this proceeding by Christmas or shortly after the new year begins,” wrote attorney Paul Cicelski on Pillsbury’s CommLaw Center blog. “Parties involved or potentially affected by this proceeding should therefore start adjusting their holiday schedules to be able to move quickly in response to the promised notices that will be rolling out of the FCC in the next few weeks.”

If the FCC granted all LPFM applications, Cicelski noted, the number of radio stations in the U.S., not including translators, would increase by nearly 20 percent.

The largest number of applications came from Texas (303), California (283) and Florida (276).

Due to a delay caused by the the federal shutdown, the window for applications was extended beyond the original Oct. 29 deadline.

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