This afternoon, FCC today released a Public Notice regarding the recent NCE FM filing window during which the FCC accepted applications for new noncommercial FM radio stations. By this Public Notice, the Commission has opened a 60-day settlement period for parties to resolve any technical conflicts between their applications, either by making technical amendments or by reaching a settlement with the other parties. Instead of providing lists indicating the applications filed in response to the window that are Singletons (i.e., don’t have any conflicts and can go straight to processing), dismissed outright, or mutually exclusive with other applications as it has done in the past, the FCC instead leaves it to the applicants to figure out which category they are in and to identify any other mutually exclusive proposals that might be blocking their proposal.
This, of course, can only be accomplished if the FCC makes the applications available in their databases, which it started to do this afternoon. Thus, the next step is for applicants to check the FCC’s CDBS database and see if their application is either: 1.) Dismissed, 2.) Accepted for Filing, or 3.) Tendered for Filing. Dismissed is self-explanatory. Accepted for Filing means that there were no initial conflicts and that the application will progress through the normal processing procedures, hopefully to be granted in due course. These applications will appear as accepted for filing in the FCC’s daily public notices some time next week and move on from there.
In the event that the database reflects that an application is Tendered for Filing, this indicates that there is a conflict with at least one other application that was filed during the NCE FM window. The next step in that case is to have your consulting engineer study the situation and see what the conflict is. Once you have a sense of the conflicts you are facing, you can start to assess whether there is an engineering solution that might allow your application to be granted, whether you could settle with the other applicants, or if your application could win on the basis of preferential service or a comparative point analysis. The 60-day period for technical amendments and joint settlements starts today and will expire on January 7th.