NOTICE: The FM Commercial Allotment Finder search tool is intended solely to assist FM commercial station applicants in tentatively identifying available FM commercial channels.  There is no guarantee that channels represented as "available" will be technically acceptable at the time an application or a petition for rulemaking is filed.

Users must be aware that neither the FCC nor the United States Government shall be responsible or liable for any loss, expense, or damage arising from or incident to the use of this program or the underlying data.  This program cannot be used to file an application for an FM station or to amend a pending application.  Use of the search tool does not confer any authority to operate a radio broadcast station. 

FM Commercial Allotment Finder

NAD 83 Latitude and Longitude: (degrees/minutes/seconds)

Station Latitude

Station Longitude


The FM Allotment Channel Finder can be used to narrow the focus to those FM commercial channels that might be suitable for a new FM commercial station.  This tool considers the minimum distance separation requirements in Section 73.207 of the FCC's rules with respect to other FM stations and vacant allotments, looking to see if a requested latitide and longitude meets the spacing criteria for a Class A allotment in the commercial (non-reserved) FM band (92.1 to 107.9 MHz).  Class A is the smallest FM commercial station class, and thus stands the greatest chance of a successful result. 

An allotment serves as a place holder for a future FM station.  The allotment consists of a community of license, a frequency or "channel," a station class, and the latitude and longitude coordinates of a theoretical station transmitter site.  The Allotment Channel Finder does NOT consider all factors that might render a potential allotment site unsuitable for allotment purposes.  For example, offshore allotment sites, or locations in bodies of water, outside of U.S. boundaries, or in environmentally restricted areas or parkland, generally will not be acceptable.  In addition, the 70 dBu "city-grade" service circle must encompass 100% of the community of license.  It is up to the applicant to evaluate such factors before submitting a proposal. 

The Allotment Channel Finder provides results based on data derived from the Media Bureau's Consolidated Database System (CDBS).  That database is updated daily.  Radio spectrum rights are established on a "first-come, first-served" basis, so it is possible that an application (or an amendment to a pending application) could be filed that would preclude a later new allotment proposal. 

The Media Bureau strongly recommends that an allotment proponent confirm with a broadcast consulting engineer the availability of an "available" channel prior to filing a petition for rule making to add an allotment to the FM Table of Vacant Allotments (Section 73.202 of the Commission's Rules).  As a matter of law, all new FM commercial allotments are subject to an auction process, and competing applications may be filed.  There is no preference for being the "finder" of a new allotment.


Thursday, April 4, 2024