FCC extends reply period for comments on AM radio to March 20

By Ben Mook

The FCC is giving interested parties another 30 days to weigh in on comments already made regarding proposed rule changes that would benefit AM radio stations.

For the first time since 1987, the FCC is taking a comprehensive look at AM radio to review possible policy changes. A window for filing comments closed Jan. 24, and the deadline for responses to those comments was set to close Feb. 18. The commission announced Friday to extend the deadline to March 20.

The Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers had asked for the extension, arguing that it needed more time to pore through the 150-plus comments that have been made to date. Among commenters so far: NPR, the National Association of Broadcasters, and individual broadcasters and interested parties.

The FCC announced the proposed rule changes Oct. 31, 2013. It is considering opening a window limited to applications from AM operators to secure FM translators for the signals. It is also considering modifying daytime and nighttime coverage standards and loosening skywave radiation standards.

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