Strategic Technical Planning for Broadcasters


Over 850 applications were filed in the January window for AM stations to file applications for new FM translators.
Effective date April 10, 2017.
2016 window translators may be moved again.
LED tower lights can save money on power, but many are invisible to the Night Vision Goggles used by the Coast Guard, civilian operators like Medevac helicopters, and the military.
Save some birds, save a little money - but only if your tower is at least 450' tall.
In its Rural Radio proceeding (MB Docket 09-52), the FCC placed new limitations on community changes. A recent release clarifies some of this.
Want to change your station's community in order to do an upgrade? You must read this.
Many FM broadcasters may benefit from the ongoing downgrades of under-height Class C stations.
With the digital conversion of broadcast television, many stations in the NCE reserved band below 92 MHz may upgrade their facilities.
New power to visualize FM upgrade potential.
The FCC now allows two-step minor-change upgrades and relocations.

2017 Window for AM Stations to Propose New FM Translators

June 14, 2017
The FCC has announced July 26 as the opening date for the first window for new FM translator applications for AM stations.

The 2017 windows will allow AM stations to propose new FM translators. 

Unlike the 2016 window, in which all applications were considered to be first-come, first-served minor changes and extended for many months, the 2017 windows will be auction proceedings in which competing applications will be considered as having been filing contemporaneously. Applicants will be prohibited from communicating with other applicants, except within a settlement window.

First, Class C and Class D AM stations will be eligible to propose new FM translators. This window will open on July 26.

Next, there will be a settlement window to allow for non-technical settlements (Basically, "Drop out and I will reimburse your expenses.") 

Technical settlements will also be allowed. As stated in the Public Notice, the technical changes must adhere to the minor change rules (+/- 1, 2, 3, 53 and 54 channels, and the proposed 60 dBu contour must intersect the original 60 dBu contour). We are working to overturn this restriction. In many areas, only a few channels are available, and they do not usually comply with the minor change rules.

In a second window, all classes of AM stations will be eligible to propose new FM translators.

Then there will be another settlement window.

Remaining unsettled conflicts would then go to auction.

All remaining 2003 translator window applications are still in the queue, and they must be protected in both windows.

The FCC will conduct one auction for all conflicts from 2003 through 2017.

Contact us for more information:

Dave Doherty



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