WASHINGTON, D.C.—The FCC has announced June 26 as the date AM radio stations may begin applying to obtain FM translators. And before that happens, the National Association of Broadcasters is soliciting input on proposals to handle translators interfering with full-power FM stations.

Womble Carlyle Telecom attorney John Garziglia said that with 800 translator applications expected, the potential for more interference with FM stations exists. Garziglia discussed the upcoming translator window, and its possible impact on the FM industry, with Communications Daily (subscription required).

Garziglia told Communications Daily that with so many FM translators potentially coming online, it will be increasingly important to have a working process in place for dealing with interference complaints.

Some of the suggestions made so far include:

  • Requiring at least six listeners to join in a full-service station’s interference complaint;
  • Establishing a tight timetable for the FCC to respond to interference complaints – perhaps 15 to 30 days; and
  • Relaxing FCC guidelines to help provide technical solutions to interference complaints.

The FCC FM translator window will begin with Class C and D AM stations being able to apply for FM translators. The window then will open up to all AM stations, provided they didn’t apply for a translator last year.