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Media Bureau Provides FM Translator Preclusion Showing Filing Guidance

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Released: March 18, 2013


Federal Communications Commission
445 12th St., S.W.

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500


Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 13-454

March 18, 2013




The Media Bureau (“Bureau”) provides further clarification on the preclusion showings
(“Preclusion Showings”) that must be filed to permit the continued processing of certain Auction 83 FM
translator applications. The Bureau is providing this guidance because it has identified a number of
applications and amendments which were filed without a required Preclusion Showing or filed with
defective Preclusion Showings. Failure to file a required Preclusion Showing or to correct defects by the
relevant filing deadline will result in the dismissal of these Form 349 tech box and/or “long form”
Section 5 of the Local Community Radio Act of 20101 requires the Commission to ensure that
licenses are available for low power FM (“LPFM”) stations. To implement this provision, the
Commission identified remaining LPFM licensing opportunities within the core areas of 156 markets and
established a protection scheme for these identified “channel/point combinations” in the defined market
grid (“Market Grid”) in each of these markets.2 These licensing opportunities are based in part on the
classification of a market as either “Spectrum Limited” or “Spectrum Available.”3 In addition, the
Commission established a “plus one channel for LPFM licensing” requirement for any out-of-grid FM
translator transmitter site location within a Top-50 Spectrum Limited Market.4 The Preclusion Showings
for these two situations are called the Grid Test and Top-50 Transmitter Site Test, respectively.
Some applicants will be required to submit Preclusion Showings as amendments to their pending
Form 349 tech box proposals and others as part of their “long form” application filings. The timing of the
filing requirement also will vary based on the schedule of translator licensing actions adopted in the

1 Pub. L. No. 111-371, 124 Stat. 4972 (2011).
2 See Creation of a Low Power Radio Service, Fourth Report and Order and Third Order on Reconsideration, 27
FCC Rcd 3364, 3382-88 (2012) (“Fourth Report and Order”).
3 Id. at 3398-3406.
4 Id. at 3383-84.

Fourth Report and Order.5 However, in every instance, an applicant must file a Preclusion Showing
when its proposal could potentially preclude any protected LPFM channel/point combinations. Under the
procedures established for the processing of these translator applications, applicants in certain
circumstances may technically amend the tech box proposal filed during the FM translator Auction 83
filling window (“Technical Amendments”), e.g., changes in power, height, channel, location, antenna
pattern, etc., at designated times.6 The filing of a Technical Amendment may trigger the requirement to
file a Preclusion Showing. Accordingly, the following examples distinguish between original technical
proposals and those with Technical Amendments.
A Preclusion Showing is required if any of the categories labeled “


” applies to a FM
translator proposal with regard to any Market Grid or any Top-50 Spectrum Limited market. Distance
calculations are based on proposed FM translator transmitter sites.
If an applicant is prosecuting an original proposal:
 The proposal is within 39 km of a Spectrum Limited Market Grid –


This proposal
could preclude a protected channel/point combination. The filing requirement applies to both
proposals located within and outside the Spectrum Limited market.
 The proposal is within 39 km of a Spectrum Available Market Grid –

Not Required.

proposal could not preclude a protected channel/point combination because all protected
channel/point combinations in Spectrum Available markets assume the grant of all translator
 The proposal specifies an out-of-grid location within a Top-50 Spectrum Limited Market –


The proposal could preclude the only channel/point combination at the specified
transmitter site location.
If an applicant has filed a Technical Amendment:
 The proposal is within 39 km of a Spectrum Limited Market Grid –


 The proposal is within 39 km of a Spectrum Available Market Grid –


This proposal
could preclude a protected channel/point combination because protected channel/point
combinations in the Spectrum Available market did not take into account the grant of this
amended proposal.7
 The proposal specifies an out-of-grid location within a Top-50 Spectrum Limited Market –


5 Id. at 3387.
6 Id. at 3385-86 (applicants will be provided “limited opportunity” to ensure that proposals do not eliminate
protected channel/point combinations).
7 See, e.g., Media Bureau Announces FM Translator Auction 83 Filing Window and Filing Procedures, Public
Notice, DA 13-283 (rel. Feb. 26, 2013) (“Singleton Filing PN”) (any Form 349 proposal which differs from original
tech box proposal and proposes a transmitter site “at a location within the 39 km buffer of ANY defined Market
Grid” must file Preclusion Showing) (emphasis in original).

Applicants with upcoming filing deadlines should refer to the pertinent Bureau Public Notices8
for detailed filing instructions. For additional information, contact Rob Gates or Larry Hannif-Ali of the
Audio Division at (202) 418-2700.

8 See Singleton Filing PN at 1 (establishing March 28, 2013 Form 349 filing deadline for certain singleton
applications outside Spectrum Limited markets); Media Bureau Announces April 1 – April 19 Filing Window for
FM Translator Auction 83 Preclusion Showings
, Public Notice, DA 13-427 (rel. March 14, 2013) (establishing an
April 19, 2013 tech box amendment deadline for proposals in or near Spectrum Limited markets).

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