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Reserved Vacant FM Allotments Filing Window

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Released: August 7, 2014
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PUBLIC NOTICE

Federal Communications Commission

445 12th St., S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20554

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 14-1144

Released: August 7, 2014

Media Bureau Announces Filing Window for Vacant FM Allotments

Reserved for Noncommercial Educational Use

Notice and Filing Procedures for August 8 – September 8, 2014,

NCE Reserved FM Allotment Filing Window

The Media Bureau (the “Bureau”) announces a filing window for applications for noncommercial

educational (“NCE”) FM new station construction permits. The window is available for existing, vacant

FM allotments on Channels 221 through 300 (the “Non-reserved FM Band”) that have been reserved for

NCE use. The window will open on Friday, August 8, 2014, and close at 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on

Monday, September 8, 2014. This Public Notice also announces procedures and filing requirements that

will apply to the NCE reserved FM allotment filing window.

Scope. Non-reserved FM Band channels reserved exclusively for NCE use appear with an asterisk

designation in the Table of FM Allotments, Section 73.202 of the Commission’s Rules.1 Attachment A to

this Public Notice identifies the pertinent vacant reserved FM channels available for application in this

window.2 Only FM allotments listed in Attachment A may be applied for at this time.

1 47 C.F.R. § 73.202. The Commission revised the standards for reserving an FM channel for NCE use in MM

Docket 95-31. Reexamination of the Comparative Standards for Noncommercial Educational Applicants, Notice of

Proposed Rulemaking, 10 FCC Rcd 2877 (1995); Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 13 FCC Rcd 21167

(1998); Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 7386 (2000) (“NCE Report and Order”); Memorandum Opinion and Order,

16 FCC Rcd 5074 (2001) (“NCE MO&O”); Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 17 FCC Rcd 3833

(2002); Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd 6691 (2003) (“NCE Second Report and Order”). The Commission

will reserve a channel in the Table of FM Allotments for the exclusive use of NCE stations if a proponent for

reservation demonstrates that an NCE station is technically precluded from using already-reserved channels and that

it will provide needed NCE service in a given area, according to defined standards. NCE Second Report and Order,

18 FCC Rcd at 6703-05. See also 47 C.F.R. § 73.202(a)(1).

2 The reserved FM channels listed in Attachment A ensue from case-by-case Commission allotment decisions. See

Asbury, Iowa, Report and Order, DA 12-1486, 27 FCC Rcd 11054 (MB 2012); Greenup, Illinois, Report and Order,

DA 13-92, 28 FCC Rcd 355 (MB 2013) (“Greenup”); Van Alstyne, Texas, Report and Order, DA 04-2508, MB

Docket No. 04-132, 19 FCC Rcd 15418 (MB 2004).

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Applicants that have not previously filed an NCE FM application will find useful, step-by-step

information about the application and licensing process at www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/howtoapply.html.3

Electronic Filing Instructions. Applications for new FM NCE facilities must be filed between August

8, 2014, and 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time, September 8, 2014. Applications must be filed electronically on

FCC Form 340. Applicants must complete all sections of the application form. All FCC Form 340

applications and amendments must be filed electronically through the Media Bureau’s Consolidated

Database System (CDBS) online electronic filing system. Instructions on using the electronic filing

system are available in the CDBS User’s Guide, which can be accessed from the electronic filing web site

at:

http: //www.fcc.gov/online-filing

For technical assistance with electronic filing, call the Bureau CDBS Help Desk at (202) 418-2662.

Comparative Consideration of Applications. Mutually exclusive applications for NCE stations

operating on reserved channels will be resolved pursuant to the application and selection procedures in

Subpart K of Part 73 of the Rules.4 Maximum qualifications for new applications filed in the window are

established at the time of filing.5 The Commission will take into account any negative change in an

applicant’s comparative position after the close of the window. The Commission will not take into

account any enhancement in an applicant’s comparative position after the close of the window.6

Technical Requirements. Specifications. When filing the FCC Form 340 application in this window,

NCE applicants must specify the exact community of license, channel and class as designated in the Table

of FM Allotments and specified in Attachment A.

Reservation Service Requirements. The Commission reserves a Non-Reserved FM Band allotment if the

petitioner successfully demonstrates that no reserved channel could be used without causing prohibited

interference to (1) TV channel 6 stations, or (2) foreign broadcast stations. In the NCE Report and Order

the Commission adopted a third test for channel reservation.7 Under this third channel reservation

standard, a reservation proponent must demonstrate that it is technically precluded from using a reserved

channel and would provide a first and/or second NCE radio service to at least ten percent of the

population within the 1mV/m contour of its proposed station. In the NCE Second Report and Order, the

Commission specifically advised prospective NCE applicants that the first or second NCE service

3 Applicants generally craft their technical proposals with the assistance of consulting engineers. One source for

locating consulting engineers is the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers,

http://www.afcce.org/Members.htm.

4 47 C.F. R. §§ 73.7000 - 73.7005.

5 See 47 C.F.R. § 73.7003(e).

6

Id.

7 See supra notes 1 and 2.

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requirement remains applicable at the application stage.8 All of the available allotments were reserved

under this standard. Therefore, all proposals must provide a first or second NCE service to at least ten

percent of the population within the proposed station’s service area and that population must be at least

2000 persons.

Documentation Supporting Point System Claims. An applicant must place in its public inspection file

documentation that supports each of its point system claims.9 An applicant also must submit copies of

this documentation to the Commission.10 The Bureau strongly recommends that applicants include copies

of this documentation as exhibits to their application submissions to satisfy this filing requirement.

Tie Breakers. When reporting pending applications in FCC Form 340, Section V(2), applicants should

include the subject application and all other applications that have been, or will be filed in the window.

Applicants should include any application that has not been granted, dismissed, or denied prior to the

opening of the window. Applicants should not include requests to participate in an auction filed on Form

175.

Site Assurance. At the time its application is filed, an applicant must have reasonable assurance that its

specified site will be available for the construction and operation of its proposed facilities.11 Each

applicant should be prepared to submit supporting documentation upon Commission request.

Financial Qualifications. FCC Form 340 requires each applicant for a new NCE FM station to certify

that, at the time its application is filed, the applicant has sufficient net liquid assets on hand or committed

sources of funds to construct the proposed facility and operate it for three months, without additional

funds.12 Each applicant should be prepared to submit supporting documentation upon Commission

request.

Application Cap. An applicant may only submit one application for each reserved FM allotment listed

in Attachment A.

Existing Application. Word Power Inc. (“Word Power”) previously submitted an FCC Form 301

application with its Petition for Rule Making for the Greenup, Illinois, vacant allotment.13 In compliance

8 See NCE Second Report and Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 6705 (“Reserved allotments will be conditioned on the

construction and licensing of an NCE station that provides the requisite level of first and second NCE service. In the

event that all applications for a reserved band allotment fail to propose such service, the allotment will become

unreserved by operation of law and subject to the Commission’s competitive bidding licensing procedures.”). See

also 47 C.F.R. § 73.202(a)(1)(ii).

9 See NCE Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 7423; see also Form 340, Section IV – Point System Factors - and

Instructions for Form 340, Section IV.

10 Id.

11 See, e.g., William F. and Anne K. Wallace, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 49 FCC 2d 1424, 1427 (1974); 62

Broadcasting, Decision, 4 FCC Rcd 1768 (1989); South Florida Broadcasting, Memorandum Opinion and Order,

57 RR 2d 495 (1984).

12 See Form 340, Section II, Question 15.

13 File No. BNPED-20120530ALR.

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with Section 73.202(a)(1)(ii),14 the Bureau found that Petitioner Word Power is technically precluded

from using a reserved channel and its proposal would provide a first and/or second NCE radio service to

at least 10 percent of the population within the 1mV/m contour of the proposed station. Accordingly, the

Bureau allotted Channel 230A at Greenup, Illinois, and reserved it for NCE use. 15 During the window,

any other eligible applicant may file a competing FCC Form 340 application for the Greenup, Illinois,

reserved vacant FM allotment. Therefore, to facilitate the full processing of all mutually exclusive NCE

applications for the reserved Channel 230A Greenup, Illinois allotment, Word Power must also submit

FCC Form 340 before the close of the window.16

Van Alstyne, Texas, Vacant Allotment. The Van Alstyne, Texas, vacant allotment on Channel 260A17

is short-spaced under Section 73.207 of the Rules,18 with respect to the co-channel Class A license (BLH-

19990513KE) of station KMOO-FM, Mineola, Texas (“KMOO”). Specifically, the required spacing

pursuant to Section 73.207 is 115 kilometers while the actual spacing is 112 kilometers. Furthermore, a

maximum Class A facility located at the reference coordinates would cause and receive prohibited

overlap to/from KMOO. Therefore, any applicant for this allotment must either maintain or increase the

spacing to KMOO, or, if the spacing is reduced, must request processing pursuant to the contour overlap

provisions of Section 73.215 of the Rules,19 and reduce or maintain the contour overlap with KMOO,

assuming KMOO is operating with maximum Class A facilities.

Filing Freeze. Concurrently with the release of this Public Notice, the Bureau is releasing a Public

Notice announcing a limited minor change application filing freeze. The Bureau will not accept minor

change applications both located 250 kilometers from the reference coordinates and within the third-

adjacent channel or within 250 kilometers of the reference coordinates and on the intermediate frequency

of the vacant FM allotments listed in Attachment A. The freeze will continue in effect until the close of

the window. Due to their potentially preclusive impact on reserved FM allotment filings, the freeze will

include all reserved and non-reserved band minor change applications and amendments. The Bureau also

is announcing a freeze, effective immediately, on the filing of applications proposing to modify the

reference coordinates of any of the vacant reserved FM allotments listed in Attachment A, and petitions

and counterproposals that propose a change in channel, class, community, or reference coordinates for

any of the vacant reserved FM allotments listed in Attachment A. This freeze is necessary to promote

transparency and predictability for window filers. It also is designed to provide sufficient time for

applicants and consulting engineers to verify the availability of spectrum and perfect applications, while

minimizing expenditures on facility proposals that otherwise could be blocked by minor change filings

immediately prior to the opening of the window. Any application that violates this freeze will be

dismissed without further consideration.

14 47 C.F.R. § 73.202(a)(1)(ii).

15 See Greenup, 28 FCC Rcd at 355.

16 For example, legal Sections II, III, IV, V, and VI of the FCC Form 340 ask for information such as “Fair

Distribution of Service Pursuant to 47 U.S.C. Section 307(b)” and “NCE Point System Factors,” which is not

requested on the FCC Form 301.

17 The reference coordinates for the Van Alstyne, Texas, allotment are 3324' 51” N.L., 9628' 05” W.L. (NAD

27).

18 47 C.F.R. § 73.207.

19 47 C.F.R. § 73.215.

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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: Lisa Scanlan, (202) 418-2700

Engineering inquiries: Rudy Bonacci, (202) 418-2722

This Public Notice contains the following Attachment:

Attachment A: Commercial Vacant Allotments Reserved for Noncommercial Educational Use

- FCC -

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