WASHINGTON � The filing window for applications for new FM translators for Class C and D AM stations has closed, and according to a statement from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, over 1,000 AM stations took advantage of the filing window. So what�s next?
The FCC will now take these applications and determine which of them are mutually exclusive with other applications filed during the window period. Those that are not in conflict with any other application filed during the window will be asked to complete the Form 349 application (so far, applicants�have filed only the �tech box� setting out the basics of their technical proposal), according to David Oxenford in his Aug. 3 edition of Broadcast Law Blog. The completed Form 349s will be processed and, unless other issues come in to play, construction permits will be granted.
The FCC will eventually release a list of all mutually exclusive applications. These applicants will be able to discuss resolving their conflicts by minor technical amendments to their applications (such as site changes, use of directional antennas, or changes to a new channel, within three channels of the one originally proposed in the tech box application). According to Oxenford: �It is important that applicants not discuss possible resolution with other broadcasters in their market at this time, as this is theoretically an auction proceeding where there are rules against �prohibited communications� that are now in effect.� Stations cannot discuss with competitors the resolution of problems until such time as the settlement window opens.
Applications that are mutually exclusive and that cannot be resolved during the settlement window will likely end up in auction at some point in the future.�