FCC Opens Settlement Window For More Translator Applications in Second Translator Window

The FCC last week issued a Public Notice announcing another window for mutually exclusive applicants filed in the second translator window to attempt to resolve the interference conflicts that the FCC found to exist between certain of these applications. A window for such settlements had been opened several months ago, but these are additional applications now identified as being in conflict. The conflicting applications are listed here. These applications were filed in the second translator window in late 2017, which was opened primarily so that Class A and B AM stations could seek authority to rebroadcast their signals on new FM translators that would be tied to those AM stations. Engineering amendments resolving the problems or other settlement agreements must be filed before September 20, 2018. If there is no resolution by that date, the applications will end up in an FCC auction.

As we wrote here, applications filed in the second translator window that were not mutually exclusive filed their “long-form” applications detailing their technical proposals back in May. Many of those applications and those that were able to resolve their issues in the first settlement window have already been granted. While these applications are being processed, the FCC is still dealing with other translator issues, including a pending petition for reconsideration of the FCC’s dismissal of objections filed by LPFM advocates in connection with hundreds of translator applications (see our summary of that pleading here), and the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on translator interference (about which we wrote here). Reply comments in that proceeding were due last week, so stay tuned for an FCC decision on those issues.