The FCC will open a filing window from January 25 through January 31, 2018 during which certain AM station licensees can apply for FM translators. Eligibility will be limited to any AM station that did not acquire or modify an existing FM translator during last year’s 250-mile filing windows or file for a new FM translator in the 2017 cross-service FM translator auction filing window, which was open only to Class C and D AM stations.

The FCC will treat applications filed during the window similarly to auction applications. Applicants will be required to file both an FM translator construction permit application (FCC Form 349) and a short-form auction application (FCC Form 175), which contains certain auction-related disclosures. In addition, certain communications, such as discussion of auction strategy and tactics, between mutually exclusive applicants will be prohibited except during a settlement window.

Translator applicants will be encouraged to resolve mutually exclusive applications – applications that propose translator facilities that would interfere with each other – through technical solutions. If applicants cannot resolve the mutual exclusivity, the FCC will conduct an auction for the frequency.

In connection with the translator filing window, the FCC will also freeze applications for FM translator and low power FM minor changes, and FM booster construction permits, effective from January 18 through January 31, 2018.