Has any one seen the new pending rules of translators. It might have to do with the Martz Group in Detroit. No translators will be able to be moved to compete in rated markets. That's going to put a stop on some things.
Does any body have a link to the "pending" rules. Cliff note version would be nice too.
This involves the divvying up of low-power frequencies between translators and LPFM. The Local Community Radio Act (LCRA) requires the FCC to provide opportunities for both translators and LPFMs, and to treat the two classes of license equally.
The Commission feels that processing the 6,500 pending translator applications would fill up all available frequencies in many markets, making further LPFM service impossible and thus violating the LCRA. They're trying to find a way to ensure opportunity for LPFM in as many places as possible.
What they seem to be considering, is establishing a "floor" -- a minimum number of LPFM channels available in each market. If processing translator applications would leave fewer channels available, all translator applications in that market would be dismissed. In Pittsburgh, market #25, the "floor" would be seven LPFM channels. The Commission has found Pittsburgh only has three such channels available, so they propose to dismiss the 16 pending FM translator applications.
In the next larger market, Charlotte, the "floor" is also seven LPFMs -- and the Commission feels there are 12 such channels available. Thus, Charlotte meets the "floor", and the ten pending FM translator applications would be processed. (doesn't necessarily mean there will be ten new translators, it could be some of them are mutually-exclusive.)
The FCC is concerned that if existing translators are allowed to move, they may further eliminate available LPFM channels. To that end, they propose to suspend processing of any application to modify a translator to specify for the first time a site within a market that doesn't have enough LPFM channels to meet the "floor". They also propose to place a freeze on the filing of any further such applications, and to dismiss any filed after the adoption of this week's Notice
. (the wording is a bit ambiguous and suggests they may dismiss any translator "move-in" applications anywhere, regardless of whether the market meets the "LPFM floor". I suspect that's not
what they mean.)
There's more in this proceeding, but I think that hits the highlights.