The LPFM applications are in, and counted, and the FCC is actively processing them. A recent public notice from the FCC about the processing of these applications puts FM broadcasters on notice that they should be checking what was filed in their market areas to make sure that there are no interference issues for their full-power stations or existing translators. The FCC’s public notice about the processing of LPFM applications is available here http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2013/db1203/DA-13-2308A1.pdf
As you will see, the FCC is first looking to identify “singleton” applications, i.e. those that are not subject to any competing applications. Once the FCC determines that an application is a singleton, its status in the FCC database will change from the application simply having been “received” to it having been “accepted for filing.” The acceptance for filing triggers a 30 day petition to deny period, during which broadcasters can object to potential interference from the LPFM or for other violations of the FCC rules on LPFM. Broadcasters should be looking at local applications, for issues like second-adjacent channel waivers or other issues so that objections can be filed during the petition to deny window against those applications that might be troublesome.
There is no separate public notice of the acceptance for filing of any application. The notice just comes out in the FCC’s daily releases, in a document called “Broadcast Applications.” For instance, a handful in can be seen in this release issued by the FCC last week: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2013/db1203/DOC-324478A1.pdf
Note also that this is not the last time that you need to monitor the applications that were filed. In situations where LPFM applications are mutually exclusive with one another, the FCC will give the applicants an opportunity to change channels to resolve the mutual exclusivity. So, one when of these applicants moves its frequency to get out of the way of another, it could conceivable get in the way of an FM licensee. So keep a watchful eye on the status of any application in your area.
LPFM applications that are mutually exclusive will come out on a later public notice. So be ready.
The FCC received less than 3000 LPFM applications, far fewer than many had predicted several months ago. Nevertheless, FM broadcasters need to be monitoring the releases daily for LPFM applications that might be of concern. Be ready to avoid issues later.