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Pai: NCE and LPFM filing windows are coming

The FCC released a July 21, 2020 letter from Chairman Ajit Pai to New Mexico Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM-02) in reply to her inquiry on the future of filing windows for new LPFM stations.  In this letter, the Chairman stated that before there is an LPFM window, there will be a filing window for full-service NCE stations.  NCE stations have been waiting longer for a filing window (2007 for reserved band, 2010 for commercial-band vacant allotments) than LPFM has (2013).  

RM-11858: REC opposes proposal to turn translators into commercial LPFM stations without LCRA oversight, increase interference and circumvent rural radio protections

Map showing the 70, 60 and 45 dBu contours of WRTM-FM and the 60 and 70 dBu contours of two translators serving Jackson, Mississippi.

REC Networks has filed comments opposing RM-11858, the Petition for Rulemaking originated by “Broadcasters for Local Program Origination” (BLPO).  The BLPO petition called for FM translators to be able to reak off of their primary stations to provide separate programming for up to 128 hours per week, use special call signs with an “-FX” suffix, only be required to broadcast 40 hours of “translated” programming per week from the primary station and to allow commercial FM broadcast stations be permitted to extend commonly owned or financed translators outside of the primary station’s service contour (60/57/54 dBu) to 45 dBu.

FCC To Eliminate Anti-Duplication Rule for AM Stations

For the August 6, 2020 FCC Open Meeting, the FCC has released the draft circulation Order in MB Docket 19-310.   The FCC originally proposed to eliminate the anti-duplication rules for full-service FM and AM stations.   

Statement of REC Networks: 19-193 Petition for Reconsideration filed by LPFM Engineers & Commenters

Over the weekend prior to July 13, 2020, in response to the publication of the final rules from MB Docket 19-193 in the Federal Register, LPFM engineers Paul Bame and Todd Urick as well as representatives of various LPFM stations including Peter Gray of KFZR-LP, Makeda Dread Cheatom of KVIB-LP, Brad Johnson of KGIG-LP, David Stepanyuk  of KIEV-LP, and Andy Hansen-Smith of KCFZ-LP filed a 

Public Notice rule "officially" starts for LPFM on July 20.. but temporarily, under the "old rules".

On Friday, the FCC announced that the rule changes from MB Docket 17-264, which dealt with public notices was published in the Federal Register.  As most of the rule changes require changes to forms and/or information collection, they have been referred to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for their approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act and therefore, will not enacted until later this year. 

There will be no National EAS Test in 2020

Citing the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus public health emergency response, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has stated that they will not conduct a national test of the IPAWS system.  In their statement, FEMA noted:

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Some new LPFM rules take effect on July 13.. others are still on deck.

Several changes to the FCC Rules from the recent LPFM Technical Change Order (MB Docket 19-193) were published today in the Federal Register.  Many of the rules will take effect on July 13, 2020.  Some rules, which require a change to FCC forms or other changes to information collection need to go through another step with the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before they are effective.  The various rules that will go into effect on July 13 include:

Sharing of EAS decoders.

REC files new 250-watt LPFM petition with a strong focus on rural areas.

Riverton, MD (May 28, 2020) : REC Networks has filed with the FCC a new Petition for Rulemaking to create an additional 250-watt class of service for Low Power FM (LPFM).  The new “Simple 250” plan addresses the issues that were expressed by the Commission in the Report and Order of MB Docket 19-193 regarding additional complexity to the application process and compliance with the Local Community Radio Act of 2010 (LCRA).

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