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Make way for LPFM: FCC dismisses 3000 translator station applications

FCC LogoAccording to the Fifth Report and Order released in March, the FCC has started dismissing backlogged translator station applications based non ational and local caps. In that Order the FCC established caps for the number of applications a single applicant could pursue in a given market, and nationwide, in order to ensure open frequencies are left for low power FM community stations.

Translator applicants were given the opportunity to select which applications they wished to pursue–provided the total number of applications fell under the market and nationwide caps. Applications that were not selected were targeted for dismissal.

On Tuesday the FCC dismissed a whopping 3,000 applications for translators that the applicants either chose not to pursue, or those from applicants that failed to submit their selections. The Commission will be dismissing an unspecified number of additional applications that omitted necessary information, failed to meet other filing requirements or still exceed the caps.

Translator stations are low power repeater stations which may only rebroadcast the signal of a full-power station. They have been permitted to operate in close proximity on the dial to other stations in a manner that LPFM stations were only recently authorized for.

REC Networks has compiled a list of the translator applicants who had their applications dismissed. Not surprisingly, some of the biggest operators and traffickers of translator licenses had the most dismissals, too. Radio Assist Ministry led the pack with 729 dismissals, while Edgewater Broadcasting came in second, with 565 dismissals. Both applicants were masterminded by Clark Parrish who applied for more than 4,000 non-commercial translators during the last application window nearly a decade ago. It is estimated that Edgewater and Radio Assist made more than $800,000 selling off construction permits for the applications that were approved. Do note that these were all non-commercial permits that did not cost a dime from the FCC.

Roughly 3,000 translator applications now remain for the FCC to sort through. Since some of these are competing for the same frequencies, this does not mean there are 3,000 new translators to be licensed. But there still we be quite a few. After that, the Commission will be ready to open up the filing window for new LPFMs, currently scheduled for October.

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