47 CFR 73.3573 - Processing FM broadcast station applications.

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§ 73.3573 Processing FM broadcast station applications.
(a) Applications for FM broadcast stations are divided into two groups:
(1) In the first group are applications for new stations or for major changes of authorized stations. A major change in ownership is any change where the original party or parties to the application do not retain more than 50 percent ownership interest in the application as originally filed. In the case of a Class D or an NCE FM reserved band channel station, a major facility change is any change in antenna location which would not continue to provide a 1 mV/m service to some portion of its previously authorized 1 mV/m service area. In the case of a Class D station, a major facility change is any change in community of license or any change in frequency other than to a first-, second-, or third-adjacent channel. A major facility change for a commercial or a noncommercial educational full service FM station, a winning auction bidder, or a tentative selectee authorized or determined under this part is any change in frequency or community of license which is not in accord with its current assignment, except for the following:
(i) A change in community of license which complies with the requirements of paragraph (g) of this section;
(ii) A change to a higher or lower class co-channel, first-, second-, or third-adjacent channel, or intermediate frequency;
(iii) A change to a same-class first-, second-, or third-adjacent channel, or intermediate frequency;
(iv) A channel substitution, subject to the provisions of Section 316 of the Communications Act for involuntary channel substitutions.
(2) The second group consists of applications for licenses and all other changes in the facilities of authorized stations.
(b)
(1) The FCC may, after the acceptance of an application for modification of facilities, advise the applicant that such application is considered to be one for a major change and therefore subject to the provisions of §§ 73.3522, 73.3580 and 1.1111 of this chapter pertaining to major changes. Such major modification applications in the non-reserved band will be dismissed as set forth in paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section.
(2) An amendment to a non-reserved band application which would effect a major change, as defined in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, will not be accepted, except as provided for in paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section.
(3) A new file number will be assigned to a reserved band application for a new station or for major changes in the facilities of an authorized station, when it is amended so as to effect a major change, as defined in paragraph (a)(1) of this section. Where an amendment to a reserved band application would require a new file number, the applicant will have the opportunity to withdraw the amendment at any time prior to designation for hearing, if applicable; and may be afforded, subject to the discretion of the Administrative Law Judge, an opportunity to withdraw the amendment after designation for hearing.
(c) An application for changes in the facilities of any existing station will continue to carry the same file number even though (pursuant to FCC approval) an assignment of license or transfer of control of such licensee or permittee has taken place if, upon consummation, the application is amended to reflect the new ownership.
(d) If, upon examination, the FCC finds that the public interest, convenience and necessity will be served by the granting of an application for FM broadcast facilities, the same will be granted. If the FCC is unable to make such a finding and it appears that a hearing may be required, the procedure given in § 73.3593 will be followed. In the case of mutually exclusive applications for reserved channels, the procedures in subpart K of this part will be followed. In the case of mutually exclusive applications for unreserved channels, the procedures in subpart I of this part will be followed.
(e) Processing reserved channel FM broadcast station applications.
(1) Applications for minor modifications for reserved channel FM broadcast stations, as defined in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, may be filed at any time, unless restricted by the FCC, and will be processed on a “first come/first served” basis, with the first acceptable application cutting off the filing rights of subsequent, competing applicants. The FCC will periodically release a Public Notice listing those applications accepted for filing. Conflicting applications received on the same day will be treated as simultaneously filed and mutually exclusive. Conflicting applications received after the filing of the first acceptable application will be grouped, according to filing date, behind the lead application in the queue. The priority rights of the lead applicant, against all other applicants, are determined by the date of filing, but the filing date for subsequent conflicting applicants only reserves a place in the queue. The right of an applicant in a queue ripens only upon a final determination that the lead applicant is unacceptable and that the queue member is reached and found acceptable. The queue will remain behind the lead applicant until the construction permit is finally granted, at which time the queue dissolves.
(2) The FCC will specify by Public Notice a period for filing reserved channel FM applications for a new station or for major modifications in the facilities of an authorized station. FM reserved channel applications for new facilities or for major modifications will be accepted only during the appropriate filing period or “window.” Applications submitted prior to the window opening date identified in the Public Notice will be returned as premature. Applications submitted after the specified deadline will be dismissed with prejudice as untimely.
(3) Concurrently with the filing of a new or major modification application for a reserved noncommercial educational channel, the applicant shall submit to the FCC's public reference room and to a local public inspection file consistent with § 73.3527(e)(2), supporting documentation of points claimed, as described in the application form.
(4) Timely filed applications for new facilities or for major modifications for reserved FM channels will be processed pursuant to the procedures set forth in subpart K of this part (§ 73.7000 et seq.) Subsequently, the FCC will release Public Notices identifying: mutually exclusive groups of applications; applications selected pursuant to the fair distribution procedures set forth in § 73.7002; applications received during the window filing period which are found to be non-mutually exclusive; tentative selectees determined pursuant to the point system procedures set forth in § 73.7003; and acceptable applications. The Public Notices will also announce: additional procedures to be followed for certain groups of applications; deadlines for filing additional information; and dates by which petitions to deny must be filed in accordance with the provisions of § 73.3584. If the applicant is duly qualified, and upon examination, the FCC finds that the public interest, convenience and necessity will be served by the granting of the application, it will be granted. If an application is determined unacceptable for filing, the application will be returned, and subject to the amendment requirements of § 73.3522.
(f) Processing non-reserved FM broadcast station applications.
(1) Applications for minor modifications for non-reserved FM broadcast stations, as defined in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, may be filed at any time, unless restricted by the FCC, and, generally, will be processed in the order in which they are tendered. The FCC will periodically release a Public Notice listing those applications accepted for filing. Processing of these applications will be on a “first come/first serve” basis with the first acceptable application cutting off the filing rights of subsequent applicants. All applications received on the same day will be treated as simultaneously tendered and, if they are found to be mutually exclusive, must be resolved through settlement or technical amendment. Applications received after the tender of a lead application will be grouped, according to filing date, behind the lead application in a queue. The priority rights of the lead applicant, as against all other applicants, are determined by the date of filing, but the filing date for subsequent applicants for that channel and community only reserves a place in the queue. The rights of an applicant in a queue ripen only upon a final determination that the lead applicant is unacceptable and if the queue member is reached and found acceptable. The queue will remain behind the lead applicant until a construction permit is finally granted, at which time the queue dissolves.
(2)
(i) The FCC will specify by Public Notice, pursuant to § 73.5002(a), a period for filing non-reserved band FM applications for a new station or for major modifications in the facilities of an authorized station. FM applications for new facilities or for major modifications, whether for commercial broadcast stations or noncommercial educational broadcast stations, as described in 47 U.S.C. 397(6), will be accepted only during the appropriate filing period or “window.” Applications submitted prior to the window opening date identified in the Public Notice will be returned as premature. Applications submitted after the specified deadline will be dismissed with prejudice as untimely.
(ii) Such FM applicants will be subject to the provisions of §§ 1.2105 and 73.5002 regarding the submission of the short-form application, FCC Form 175, and all appropriate certifications, information and exhibits contained therein. FM applicants may submit a set of preferred site coordinates as a supplement to the short-form application. Any specific site indicated by FM applicants will not be studied for technical acceptability, but will be protected from subsequently filed applications as a full-class facility as of the close of the window filing period. Determinations as to the acceptability or grantability of an applicant's proposal will not be made prior to an auction.
(iii) FM applicants will be subject to the provisions of §§ 1.2105 and 73.5002(c) regarding the modification and dismissal of their short-form applications.
(3) Subsequently, the FCC will release Public Notices:
(i) Identifying the short-form applications received during the window filing period which are found to be mutually exclusive, including any applications for noncommercial educational broadcast stations, as described in 47 U.S.C. 397(6), as well as the procedures the FCC will use to resolve the mutually exclusive applications;
(ii) Establishing a date, time and place for an auction;
(iii) Providing information regarding the methodology of competitive bidding to be used in the upcoming auction, bid submission and payment procedures, upfront payment procedures, upfront payment deadlines, minimum opening bid requirements and applicable reserve prices in accordance with the provisions of § 73.5002;
(iv) Identifying applicants who have submitted timely upfront payments and, thus, are qualified to bid in the auction.
(4) If, after the close of the appropriate window filing period, a non-reserved FM allotment remains vacant, the window remains closed until the FCC, by Public Notice, specifies a subsequent period for filing non-reserved band FM applications for a new station or for major modifications in the facilities of an authorized station pursuant to paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section. After the close of the filing window, the FCC will also release a Public Notice identifying the short-form applications which are found to be non-mutually exclusive, including any applications for noncommercial educational broadcast stations, as described in 47 U.S.C. 397(6). These non-mutually exclusive applicants will be required to submit the appropriate long-form application within 30 days of the Public Notice and, for applicants for commercial broadcast stations, pursuant to the provisions of § 73.5005(d). Non-mutually exclusive applications for commercial broadcast stations will be processed and the FCC will periodically release a Public Notice listing such non-mutually exclusive applications determined to be acceptable for filing and announcing a date by which petitions to deny must be filed in accordance with the provisions of §§ 73.5006 and 73.3584. Non-mutually exclusive applications for noncommercial educational broadcast stations, as described in 47 U.S.C. 397(6), will be processed and the FCC will periodically release a Public Notice listing such non-mutually exclusive applications determined to be acceptable for filing and announcing a date by which petitions to deny must be filed in accordance with the provisions of §§ 73.7004 and 73.3584. If the applicant is duly qualified, and upon examination, the FCC finds that the public interest, convenience, and necessity will be served by the granting of the non-mutually exclusive long-form application, it will be granted.
(5)
(i) Pursuant to § 1.2107 of this chapter and § 73.5005, a winning bidder that meets its down payment obligations in a timely manner must, within 30 days of the release of the public notice announcing the close of the auction, submit the appropriate long-form application for each construction permit for which it was the winning bidder. Long-form applications filed by winning bidders shall include the exhibits identified in § 73.5005(a).
(ii) Winning bidders are required to pay the balance of their winning bids in a lump sum prior to the deadline established by the Commission pursuant to § 1.2109(a) of this chapter. Long-form construction permit applications will be processed and the FCC will periodically release a Public Notice listing such applications that have been accepted for filing and announcing a date by which petitions to deny must be filed in accordance with the provisions of §§ 73.5006 and 73.3584. Construction permits will be granted by the Commission only after full and timely payment of winning bids and any applicable late fees, and if the applicant is duly qualified, and upon examination, the FCC finds that the public interest, convenience and necessity will be served.
(iii) All long-form applications will be cut-off as of the date of filing with the FCC and will be protected from subsequently filed long-form applications and rulemaking petitions. Applications will be required to protect all previously filed commercial and noncommercial applications. Winning bidders filing long-form applications may change the technical proposals specified in their previously submitted short-form applications, but such change may not constitute a major change. If the submitted long-form application would constitute a major change from the proposal submitted in the short-form application or the allotment, the long-form application will be returned pursuant to paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section.
(6)
(i) When a non-reserved channel FM allotment is added to the Table of FM Allotments using the Tribal Priority described in Note 5 to this section, the FCC will specify by Public Notice a window filing period during which only those applicants that satisfy all of the eligibility criteria listed in Note 5 to this section with regard to the specific Tribal Priority FM allotment(s) listed in the Public Notice may file a long-form application for the Tribal Priority FM allotment. Only applications from applicants meeting the “threshold qualifications” listed in Note 5 will be accepted during this window filing period.
(ii) If only one application for the Tribal Priority FM allotment is accepted for filing during the threshold qualifications window, the long-form application will be processed. If two or more applications for the Tribal Priority FM allotment are accepted for filing during the threshold qualifications window, the FCC will specify by Public Notice a period of time, after the close of the threshold qualifications window but before the next FM auction, during which the parties may negotiate a settlement or bona fide merger, as a way of resolving the conflict between their applications. Parties to a settlement must comply with § 73.3525 of the Commission's rules. If a settlement or bona fide merger is reached, the surviving application will be processed. If no settlement or bona fide merger is reached among the threshold qualifications window applicants, the Tribal Priority FM allotment will be offered at auction as described in paragraphs (f)(2) through (f)(5) of this section, except that only those applicants whose applications were accepted for filing pursuant to paragraph (f)(6)(i) of this section may participate in the initial auction of the Tribal Priority FM allotment.
(iii) If no application is accepted for filing during the threshold qualifications window, and the party that initially proposed the Tribal Priority FM allotment requests by letter to the Audio Division, Media Bureau, that its pending long-form application not be immediately processed, the Tribal Priority FM allotment will be auctioned as described in paragraphs (f)(2) through (f)(5) of this section in the normal course for vacant FM allotments. When a Tribal Priority FM allotment is offered at auction for the first time, only those applicants meeting the threshold qualifications for that specific Tribal Priority FM allotment, as described in Note 5 to this section, may participate in the auction of that allotment.
(iv) Should no applicant meeting threshold qualifications, as described in Note 5 to this section, apply to bid on a Tribal Priority FM allotment in the first auction in which it is offered, or should no applicant meeting threshold qualifications qualify to bid in the first auction in which a Tribal Priority FM allotment is offered, then the Tribal Priority FM allotment will be offered in a subsequent auction. Any such subsequent auction of a Tribal Priority FM allotment shall proceed as described in paragraphs (f)(2) through (f)(5) of this section, and any qualified applicant may participate in the auction of the Tribal Priority FM allotment in such subsequent auction, regardless of whether it meets the threshold qualifications with regard to that specific Tribal Priority FM allotment.
(g) Applications proposing to change the community of license of an FM station or assignment are considered to be minor modifications under paragraphs (a)(2), (e)(1), and (f)(1) of this section, and are subject to the following requirements:
(1) The applicant must attach an exhibit to its application containing information demonstrating that the proposed community of license change constitutes a preferential arrangement of allotments or assignments under Section 307(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (47 U.S.C. 307(b));
(2) The facilities specified by the applicant at the proposed community of license must be mutually exclusive, as defined in § 73.207 or 73.509, with the applicant's current facilities or its current assignment, in the case of a winning auction bidder or tentative selectee; and
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of § 73.3580(a), the applicant must comply with the local public notice provisions of §§ 73.3580(c)(3), 73.3580(d)(3), and 73.3580(f). The exception contained in § 73.3580(e) shall not apply to an application proposing to change the community of license of an FM station.
(4) Non-reserved band applications must demonstrate the existence of a suitable assignment or allotment site that fully complies with §§ 73.207 and 73.315 without resort to § 73.213 or § 73.215.
Note 1 to § 73.3573:
Applications to modify the channel and/or class to an adjacent channel, intermediate frequency (IF) channel, or co-channel may utilize the provisions of the Commission's Rules permitting short spaced stations as set forth in § 73.215 as long as the applicant shows by separate exhibit attached to the application the existence of an allotment reference site which meets the allotment standards, the minimum spacing requirements of § 73.207 and the city grade coverage requirements of § 73.315. This exhibit must include a site map or, in the alternative, a statement that the transmitter will be located on an existing tower. Examples of unsuitable allotment reference sites include those which are offshore, in a national or state park in which tower construction is prohibited, on an airport, or otherwise in an area which would necessarily present a hazard to air navigation.
Note 2 to § 73.3573:
Processing of applications for new low power educational FM applications: Pending the Commission's restudy of the impact of the rule changes pertaining to the allocations of 10-watt and other low power noncommercial educational FM stations, applications for such new stations, or major changes in existing ones, will not be accepted for filing. Exceptions are: (1) In Alaska, applications for new Class D stations or major changes in existing ones are acceptable for filing; and (2) applications for existing Class D stations to change frequency are acceptable for filing. In (2), upon the grant of such application, the station shall become a Class D (secondary) station. (See First Report and Order, Docket 20735, FCC 78-386, 43 FR 25821, and Second Report and Order, Docket 20735, FCC 78-384, 43 FR 39704.) Effective date of this FCC imposed “freeze” was June 15, 1978. Applications which specify facilities of at least 100 watts effective radiated power will be accepted for filing.
Note 3 to § 73.3573:
For rules on processing FM translator and booster stations, see § 74.1233 of this chapter.
Note 4 to § 73.3573:
A Class C station operating with antenna height above average terrain (“HAAT”) of less than 451 meters is subject to reclassification as a Class C0 station upon the filing of a triggering application for construction permit that is short-spaced to such a Class C station under § 73.207 but would be fully spaced to such a station considered as a Class C0 assignment. Triggering applications may utilize § 73.215. Triggering applications must certify that no alternative channel is available for the proposed service. Available alternative frequencies are limited to frequencies that the proposed service could use at the specified antenna location in full compliance with the distance separation requirements of § 73.207, without any other changes to the FM Table of Allotments. Copies of a triggering application and related pleadings must be served on the licensee of the affected Class C station. If the staff concludes that a triggering application is acceptable for filing, it will issue an order to show cause why the affected station should not be reclassified as a Class C0 station The order to show cause will provide the licensee 30 days to express in writing an intention to seek authority to modify the subject station's technical facilities to minimum Class C HAAT or to otherwise challenge the triggering application. If no such intention is expressed and the triggering application is not challenged, the subject station will be reclassified as a Class C0 station, and processing of the triggering application will be completed. If an intention to modify is expressed, an additional 180-day period will be provided during which the Class C station licensee must file an acceptable construction permit application to increase antenna height to at least 451 meters HAAT. Upon grant of such a construction permit application, the triggering application will be dismissed. Class C station licensees must serve on triggering applicants copies of any FAA submissions related to the application grant process. If the construction is not completed as authorized, the subject Class C station will be reclassified automatically as a Class C0 station. The reclassification procedure also may be initiated through the filing of an original petition for rule making to amend the FM Table of Allotments as set forth in Note 2 to § 1.420(g).
Note 5 to § 73.3573:
The “Tribal Priority” is that established by the Commission in Policies to Promote Rural Radio Service and to Streamline Allotment and Assignment Procedures, MB Docket 09-52. See First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making, MB Docket 09-52, FCC 10-24, 75 FR 9797, 75 FR 9856, 75 FR 73976; Second Report and Order, First Order on Reconsideration, and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making, MB Docket 09-52, FCC 11-28, 76 FR 14362, 76 FR 18942; Third Report and Order, MB Docket 09-52, FCC 11-190. To qualify for the Tribal Priority, and thus meet “threshold qualifications” for a particular allotment, an applicant must demonstrate that it meets all of the following eligibility criteria: (a) The applicant is either a federally recognized Tribe or Tribal consortium, or an entity 51 percent or more of which is owned or controlled by a Tribe or Tribes. Qualifying Tribes or Tribal entities must be those at least a portion of whose Tribal Lands lie within the principal community contour of the proposed facility. Although the 51 or greater percent Tribal control threshold need not consist of a single Tribe, the qualifying entity must be 51 percent or more owned or controlled by Tribes at least a portion of whose Tribal Lands lie within the facility's principal community contour; (b)(1) at least 50 percent of the area within the proposed principal community contour is over that Tribe's Tribal Lands, or (2) the proposed principal community contour (i) encompasses 50 percent or more of that Tribe's Tribal Lands, (ii) serves at least 2,000 people living on Tribal Lands, and (iii) the total population on Tribal Lands residing within the proposed service contour constitutes at least 50 percent of the total covered population (and, in the case of either (b)(1) or (b)(2) the proposed principal community contour does not cover more than 50 percent of the Tribal Lands of a Tribe that is not a party to the application); (c) the proposed community of license must be located on Tribal Lands; and (d) the proposed service must constitute first or second aural (reception) service, or first local Tribal-owned commercial transmission service at the proposed community of license. For purposes of this section, the definition of “Tribal Lands” is the same as that set forth at footnote 15 of the First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making, FCC 10-24, and as further set forth at paragraphs 8-10 and 59 of the Second Report and Order, First Order on Reconsideration, and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making, FCC 11-28.
[63 FR 48627, Sept. 11, 1998, as amended at 64 FR 19502, Apr. 21, 1999; 65 FR 36379, June 8, 2000; 65 FR 79780, Dec. 20, 2000; 67 FR 45374, July 9, 2002; 68 FR 26228, May 15, 2003; 71 FR 6228, Feb. 7, 2006; 71 FR 76220, Dec. 20, 2006; 77 FR 2922, Jan. 20, 2012]

Title 47 published on 2013-10-01

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  • 2014-05-20; vol. 79 # 97 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014
    1. 79 FR 28996 - 2014 Quadrennial Regulatory Review
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      Effective June 19, 2014, except for the amendment to § 73.3613, which contains information collection requirements that are not effective until approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of these changes. A separate notice will be published in the Federal Register soliciting public and agency comments on the information collections and establishing a deadline for accepting such comments.
      47 CFR Part 73

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Title 47 published on 2013-10-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 47 CFR 73 after this date.

  • 2014-05-20; vol. 79 # 97 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014
    1. 79 FR 28996 - 2014 Quadrennial Regulatory Review
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
      Final rule.
      Effective June 19, 2014, except for the amendment to § 73.3613, which contains information collection requirements that are not effective until approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of these changes. A separate notice will be published in the Federal Register soliciting public and agency comments on the information collections and establishing a deadline for accepting such comments.
      47 CFR Part 73