The FCC yesterday released a Public Notice announcing a filing window from December 1 through December 21 for “long-form” applications for new translators that were filed in this summer’s window for Class C and D AM stations to seek new FM translators to rebroadcast their stations. The Public Notice also sets the procedures for filing in this window. The window is for the filing of complete Form 349 applications by applicants who were deemed to be “singletons,” i.e. their applications would not cause interference to any other translator applicant. The list of singletons is here. The long-form application requires more certifications and technical information than that which was submitted during the initial filing window.
After the long-form application is submitted to the FCC, the application will be published in an FCC public notice of broadcast applications. Interested parties will have 15 days from that publication date to comment or object. If no comments are filed, and no other issues arise, the FCC’s Audio Division is known for its speed in processing translator applications so that grants might be expected for many of the applications late this year or early next.
Not specifically addressed is whether the applications that were not singletons (and were listed on the list of mutually exclusive applications about which we wrote here)but that manage to reach a settlement or file a technical solution before the November 29 deadline, will have the opportunity to file their long-form applications. According to the Public Notice announcing the settlement window, the FCC will request long-form applications after settlement agreements are filed. So, seemingly, they will be requested one by one as settlements are reviewed.
In any event, it appears that a number of AM stations will soon be able to start service with their new FM translator stations. And Class A and B AM stations should watch the FCC releases for their opportunity to file for new translators, likely coming after these translators are processed – sometime in early 2018.