In anticipation of the new auction of 123 FM channels scheduled for March 2012 (about which we wrote here) the FCC has frozen the filing of FM applications and rulemaking requests which seek changes in the frequencies of any of the channels proposed for inclusion in the auction or which otherwise fail to protect the reference coordinates for these channels. This is not a blanket freeze of all FM filings, but instead simply is meant to protect the channels that are included in the auction so that interested applicants can begin the search for transmitter sites and otherwise evaluate the prospects for these channels in a stable environment.

While the procedural dates for this auction (including the dates by which applications must be submitted) have not been finalized, we anticipate that these dates will be set soon, and that initial short-form applications specifying the channels in which each applicant is interested, will be due early in 2012. So if you are interested in the possibility of building a new FM station, check out the tentative list of new allotments here to see what is available, and start making your plans to participate.