Last week, we published a note that the FCC had published the new rules on Low Power FM (LPFM) stations in the Federal Register, starting the comment period on the issues raised in the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in that proceeding – principally addressing the relationship between LPFM stations and FM translators and improvements in full power FM stations. But we were wrong about the comment date. In an unusual action, the Federal Register publication only contained that portion of the FCC’s order actually adopting new rules on ownership and transferability of LPFM stations, limiting the number of FM translator applications that one entity can process from the 2003 filing window, and announcing interim processing rules with respect to situations where interference to an LPFM station would be caused by upgrades to FM stations. The section of the document which constitutes the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking were omitted from the Federal Register publication, even though it had been acted on simultaneously with the new rules that are going into effect, and even though the language dealing with the Further Notice was released together with the new rules, in a single document back in early December.
So the comment date on the relationship between LPFM stations, FM translators and the upgrades of full-power stations remain to be set – watch for the date to be set soon.