FCC sets Oct. 15-29 window for LPFM applications

Jun 17, 2013 2:30 pm
The Federal Communications Commission announced the rules for the upcoming Low Power FM ("LPFM") filing window, Oct. 15-29. The window is available for LPFM proposals in the entire FM band (channels 201-300). The Commission established the LPFM service in 2000 and more than 800 LPFM stations have been licensed from the initial 2000-2001 windows. The Commission recently modified a number of
LPFM licensing and service rules to implement the second Congressional Local Community Radio Act and allow this second application window, after Congressional opposition created tight rules in the original application period.

Click on the link to read the FCC's full announcment.

Each applicant must be a nonprofit educational organization, or a Tribe or
Tribally-controlled organization, or a state or local government or a non-government entity that will
provide a noncommercial public safety radio service to protect the safety of life, health, or property.4
Each applicant will be required to document its eligibility.5 Applicants also must be "local" as that term
is defined in the Commission's Rules.6
LPFM applications filed during this window must protect all FM, FM Translator, FM Booster
and TV Channel 6 authorizations. LPFM applications also must protect pending broadcast applications in
these services that were filed prior to the date of this Notice. Finally, LPFM applications must protect

1 See Creation of a Low Power Radio Service, Fifth Order on Reconsideration and Sixth Report and Order, 27 FCC
Rcd 15402, 15481 (2012) ("Sixth Report and Order").
2 Pub. L. No. 111-371, 124 Stat. 4072 (2011).
3 Sixth Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 15424-15482; Creation of a Low Power Radio Service, Fifth Report and
Order, Fourth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Fourth Order on Reconsideration, 27 FCC Rcd 3315
4 See 47 C.F.R. 73.853. See also Creation of a Low Power Radio Service, Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 2205,
2212-15 (2000) (nonprofit and public safety applicant eligibility) ("Report and Order"); Creation of a Low Power
Radio Service, Fifth Order on Reconsideration and Sixth Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 15402, 15454-57 (2012)
(tribal applicant eligibility).
5 See FCC Form 318 Instructions, Section II, B. (April 2013).
6 See 47 C.F.R. 73.853(b).
existing vacant FM allotments.7 Consistent with established processing rules, an LPFM application that
fails to protect these authorizations, applications, and allotments will be dismissed with no opportunity to
correct the deficiency.8
Revised FCC Form 318.

By this Notice, the Bureau is also making available the revised FCC
Form 318, Application for Construction Permit for a Low Power FM Broadcast Station (April 2013
version). The revised form is effective immediately and must be used by all LPFM applicants. All
previous editions of the FCC Form 318 are obsolete and may not be used in the October 15-October 29,
2013, filing window.
Filing Requirements.

Those wishing to participate in this LPFM window must electronically
complete and timely file FCC Form 318, Application for Construction Permit for a Low Power FM
Broadcast Station. No fee is required when filing FCC Form 318.
Applications must be filed between October 15, 2013 and October 29, 2013. Applications filed
earlier in the window will not receive any preference over those filed later in the window. Applications
filed before October 15, 2013, or after October 29, 2013, will be returned. Incomplete and patently
defective applications will be dismissed without any opportunity to amend.9
Electronic Filing Instructions.

Applications must be filed through the Media Bureau's
Consolidated Database System (CDBS) online filing system. The CDBS electronic filing system has
numerous business rules and other edit checks to help ensure that filings are substantially complete when
filed. When filing a new or major change proposal, applicants must select "New station" or "Major
Change in licensed facility," respectively, on the Pre-form for Form 318 (Question 2 Application
Purpose).10 Instructions for use of the electronic filing system are available in the CDBS User's Guide,
which can be accessed from the electronic filing website at:
For assistance with electronic filing, call the Audio Division Help Desk at (202) 418-2662.
Applicants are encouraged to access the system and prepare their applications and amendments at
their earliest convenience. Applicants may begin to complete applications immediately. Applicants are
also encouraged to submit their applications early during the window to ensure proper submission. An
applicant may amend a filed application without limitation during the window by checking the Section I,
Question 3 box "Amendment to pending application."11 Applications and amendments filed during the

7 See 47 C.F.R. 73.807 and 73.825.
8 See, e.g., Low Power FM Filing Window, Public Notice, 15 FCC Rcd 24817, 24818 (MB 2000).
9 See 47 C.F.R. 73.801 (incorporating 73.3566 into Subpart G). See also Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd at
10 Although LPFM permittees may file "major modification of construction permit" applications, the Bureau
strongly discourages such filings. They will be subject to competing proposals. Such an applicant will have no
assurance that its major modification proposal will be comparatively preferred to mutually exclusive filings or,
assuming that it is, that the application will be granted prior to the expiration of the underlying construction permit.
The Bureau will automatically dismiss any major modification application upon expiration of the associated permit.
It is imperative that an applicant submitting a major modification of construction permit application have an
alternate plan to complete station construction prior to the construction permit deadline.
11 Form 318, Section 1, Question 3 (April 2013); 47 C.F.R. 73.871(a).
window will not be made available to the public until after the close of the filing window. To ensure the
security of its application, it is important that an applicant shares its CDBS account passwords with only
those individuals who are authorized to view and/or modify proposals in progress.
To complete the filing process, applicants must select the specific application under "Work in
Progress" and then click on the "File Form" button. Applicants that have successfully filed Form 318
will immediately receive a CDBS response similar to the following:
FCC MB CDBS Electronic Filing

Application Reference Number: 20131018ABC

Successfully filed at Oct 18 2013 12:01AM

Applicants that believe they have filed correctly and have not received such a message from the electronic
filing system should log into their CDBS account and determine the status of the application. If the status
is other than "Ready" or "Filed," the application has NOT been properly filed and will NOT be processed.
Following the close of the window, the Commission staff will return and/or dismiss

applications and amendments not submitted in accordance with the procedures described in this
Public Notice. No curative amendments for such applications and amendments will be accepted
after the close of the window.
The Commission must receive electronically filed applications no later than 6:00 PM EDT on
October 29, 2013.
Finding an LPFM Station Channel.

Applicants may use the Bureau's LPFM Channel Finder to
help determine if a proposed transmitter site would meet minimum LPFM station spacing requirements.
This internet-based utility is available on the FCC web site at: http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/low-
power-fm-lpfm-channel-finder. The LPFM Channel Finder incorporates certain technical changes
implemented by the LPFM Sixth Report and Order.12 The site also provides additional information on
the LPFM service, including the text of the Sixth Report and Order, specific rule requirements for LPFM
applicants, and methods to determine the coordinates of an applicant's proposed transmitter site. Please
note that the LPFM Channel Finder tool is intended solely to assist LPFM applicants in tentatively
identifying available FM channels.13 There is no guarantee that channels represented as "available" will
be technically acceptable at the time an application is filed. An applicant should consider using a
consulting engineer or a party familiar with the LPFM technical rules to determine the technical
acceptability of its application, particularly if the applicant is requesting a second-adjacent channel
spacing waiver.
Application Limitation.

Nonprofit educational organizations may not file more than one
application in this window. Tribal applicants may not file more than two applications. Not-for-profit
organizations or governmental entities proposing to operate public safety or emergency services may file
more than one application. However, applicants proposing public safety or emergency services must
designate a "priority" application if multiple applications are submitted. Non-priority applications will be
dismissed if competing applications are filed in the window. For applicants subject to the one application
filing limit, a second application filed by such an applicant in this window would be treated as a

12 See Sixth Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 15424-15449.
13 The Bureau will update the Channel finder in the coming months to reflect database changes.
"conflicting" application subject to dismissal under Section 73.3518.14 This restriction applies even
where more than one frequency is available at its proposed transmitter site.
Conflicting Applications. After the close of the LPFM filing window, in cases of conflicting,

i.e., "mutually exclusive," applications, mutual exclusivity determinations will be made with regard
to all timely and complete filings.15 Thus, unless the applicants propose a settlement, the Commission
will use a point system to select among the mutually exclusive applications.16 Applicants may claim a
point for the following criteria if the applicant: (1) has an established community presence of at least two
years; (2) pledges to originate locally at least eight hours of programming per day; (3) pledges to maintain
a publicly accessible main studio that has local program origination capability; (4) can certify that it
qualifies for a point under both the local program origination and the main studio criteria; (5) can certify
that neither it nor any party to the application has an attributable interest in another broadcast station; and
(6) is a Tribal Applicant proposing to locate its transmitting antenna site on that Tribal Applicant's Tribal
The comparative qualifications of applicants, i.e., maximum possible points awarded pursuant to
Section 73.872, are established as of the close of the filing window. While new and major change
applications may be amended without limitation during the filing window,18 amendments that would
improve the comparative position of these new and major change applications will not be accepted after
the close of the filing window.19
Additional information on the LPFM service and LPFM station licensing procedures may be
found at: http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/low-power-fm-broadcast-radio-stations-lpfm.
For additional information, contact:
Assistance with FRN numbers and passwords: FRN Help Desk 1-(877) 480-3201, Option 4
Electronic filing assistance: Konrad Herling or David Trout, (202) 418-2662
Legal inquiries: Tom Hutton or Parul P. Desai, (202) 418-2700
Engineering inquiries: James Bradshaw or Gary Loehrs, (202) 418-2700
Press inquiries: Janice Wise, (202) 418-8165
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