(a) Upon completion of construction of an AM, FM, TV or Class A TV station in accordance with the terms of the construction permit, the technical provisions of the application, the rules and regulations and the applicable engineering standards, program tests may be conducted in accordance with the following:
(1) The permittee of a nondirectional AM or FM station, or a nondirectional or directional TV or Class A TV station, may begin program tests upon notification to the FCC in Washington, DC provided that within 10 days thereafter, an application for a license is filed with the FCC in Washington, DC.
(2) The permittee of an FM station with a directional antenna system must file an application for license on FCC Form 302-FM requesting authority to commence program test operations at full power with the FCC in Washington, D.C. This license application must be filed at least 10 days prior to the date on which full power operations are desired to commence. The application for license must contain any exhibits called for by conditions on the construction permit. The staff will review the license application and the request for program test authority and issue a letter notifying the applicant whether full power operation has been approved. Upon filing of the license application and related exhibits, and while awaiting approval of full power operation, the FM permittee may operate the directional antenna at one half (50%) of the authorized effective radiated power. Alternatively, the permittee may continue operation with its existing licensed facilities pending the issuance of program test authority at the full effective radiated power by the staff.
(3) FM licensees replacing a directional antenna pursuant to § 73.1690 (c)(2) without changes which require a construction permit (see§ 73.1690(b)) may immediately commence program test operations with the new antenna at one half (50%) of the authorized ERP upon installation. If the directional antenna replacement is an EXACT duplicate of the antenna being replaced (i.e., same manufacturer, antenna model number, and measured composite pattern), program tests may commence with the new antenna at the full authorized power upon installation. The licensee must file a modification of license application on FCC Form 302-FM within 10 days of commencing operations with the newly installed antenna, and the license application must contain all of the exhibits required by § 73.1690(c)(2). After review of the modification-of-license application to cover the antenna change, the Commission will issue a letter notifying the applicant whether program test operation at the full authorized power has been approved for the replacement directional antenna.
(4) The permittee of an AM station with a directional antenna system must file an application for license on FCC Form 302-AM requesting program test authority with the FCC in Washington, DC at least ten (10) days prior to the date on which it desires to commence program test operations. The application must provide an AM directional antenna proof of performance, containing the exhibits required by § 73.186. After review of the application to cover the construction permit, the Commission will issue a letter notifying the applicant whether program test operations may commence. Program test operations may not commence prior to issuance of staff approval.
(5) Except for permits subject to successive license terms, the permittee of an LPFM station may begin program tests upon notification to the FCC in Washington, DC, provided that within 10 days thereafter, an application for license is filed. Program tests may be conducted by a licensee subject to mandatory license terms only during the term specified on such licensee's authorization.
(b) The Commission reserves the right to revoke, suspend, or modify program tests by any station without right of hearing for failure to comply adequately with all terms of the construction permit or the provisions of § 73.1690(c) for a modification of license application, or in order to resolve instances of interference. The Commission may, at its discretion, also require the filing of a construction permit application to bring the station into compliance the Commission's rules and policies.
(c) Unless sooner suspended or revoked, the program test authority continues valid during FCC consideration of the application for license, and during this period further extension of the construction permit is not required. Program test authority shall be automatically terminated by final determination upon the application for station license.
(d) All operation under program test authority shall be in strict compliance with the rules governing broadcast stations and in strict accordance with representations made in the application for license pursuant to which the tests were authorized.
(e) Acceptance by the FCC of notification of the station of program tests, or the granting of program test authority by the FCC, is not to be construed by the permittee as approval by the FCC of the application for station license.
(f) The licensee of a UHF TV station which is not in operation on, but assigned to, the same allocated channel which a 1000 watt UHF translator station is authorized to use (see § 73.3516, “Specification of facilities”), shall notify the licensee of the translator station, in writing, at least 10 days prior to commencing or resuming operation. The TV station licensee shall also certify to the FCC in Washington, DC that such advance notice has been given to the translator station licensee.
(g)Reports required. In their application for a license to cover a construction permit and on the first anniversary of the commencement of program tests, applicants for new broadcast facilities that were granted after designation for a comparative hearing as a result of a post designation settlement or a decision favoring them after comparative consideration must report.
(1) Any deviations from comparative proposals relating to integration of ownership and management and diversification of the media of mass communciation contained in their application for a construction permit at the time such application was granted; and
(2) Any deviations from an active/passive ownership structure proposed in their application for a construction permit at the time such application was granted.
(3) The reports referred to in paragraphs (g)(1) and (2) of this section shall not be required in any case in which the order granting the application relieved the applicant of the obligation to adhere to such proposals.