The deadline for filing applications in the LPFM window has been extended as a result of the Federal government shutdown – with the new filing deadline being November 14 at 6 PM Eastern Time. The FCC filing system is open now, so parties can go ahead prepare and actually submit their applications now. But as, during the shutdown, the FCC’s system was not available for research or application preparation, and as the FCC staff was not available to answer questions, the Commission gave applicants additional time in which to submit their applications.
During the shutdown, the FCC had been scheduled to have a webinar to further explain the application process and to answer questions about the rules applicable to LPFM. Obviously, the shutdown prevented that from happening, so the FCC has now rescheduled the seminar for October 24 at 1 PM. The webinar can be accessed here.
Finally, as soon as the FCC reopened, the FCC issued an order addressing certain technical petitions for reconsideration of the LPFM rules. The Commission rejected proposals to refine or revise the technical rules applicable to LPFM, but did make some minor revisions to the rules, basically to clarify the obligation of LPFM applicants to protect the input signals of existing FM translators. As a result of that decision, the FCC issued a public notice setting out how LPFM applicants can find the information about the translator input channels to protect. Translator licensees need to review the information available at this site to make sure that the information for their stations is correct to eliminate issues down the road – though the question of what will happen to an LPFM application that creates issues for a translator whose primary station was not properly identified in the database is left unanswered (though there is a suggestion that protections will apply if the translator can prove that it properly notified the FCC of the current input channel).
Lots of information for the LPFM applicant to digest quickly for the current window.