Any FCC grace period for expiring CPs?

feedback.pdxradio.com forums feedback.pdxradio.com forums Portland Radio Any FCC grace period for expiring CPs?

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #51371
    lastday
    Participant

    If an applicant with a CP is making real progress toward getting on the air before their CP expires, and considering that the applicant has previously applied for and been denied an extension due to pandemic delays, what happens if they aren’t live by end of day the CP expires? Is there any grace period if the applicant is trying? Or is the applicant SOL?

    #51372
    boisebill
    Participant

    98% Shit Out of Luck.

    #51373
    boisebill
    Participant

    Unless it’s 6 month out and everything’s ready (AND DOCUMENTED) but a wild fire burns it to the ground.
    “You had 3 years”

    #51374
    boisebill
    Participant

    Or sell it and the new owner gets something like 6 months? to get it on the air.

    #51378
    lastday
    Participant

    Hypothetically and I may not know what I’m talking about

    If the new transmitter covered by the CP is at the same location as the station’s primary FM transmitter, could they temporarily use their backup transmitter to get the CP signal on the air? That’s assuming the backup can be easily reconfigured for a different frequency and that an appropriate antenna for that frequency has been installed.

    #51380
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    The short answer is no. 73.1670 (c)(1) “The auxiliary transmitter may be operated on only the station’s authorized frequency”

    https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=624a897690e642479f3c54ce7d0583aa&mc=true&node=se47.4.73_11670&rgn=div8

    If the licensee/CP holder wants to use that transmitter, it must retire it from the existing auxiliary license by replacing it and filing another application for auxiliary license or having the auxiliary license deleted or possibly file for an STA to suspend it temporarily. This is a question for a broadcast lawyer but needless to say it’s not something that can be done at the 11th hour to save the C.P.

    They can also file a motion to have the expired C.P. reinstated after it is expired, but they better have a good lawyer that can come up with a compelling reason other than they ran out of time or didn’t have the money. Chances are low that will go through. If it doesn’t, you can appeal it, but that costs even more legal money.

    Also, FYI, it isn’t about “being on the air” by the day the C.P. expires. Normally you would be on the air days, even weeks before that date. What it is about is having filed the appropriate application for license by that date. The number of the form varies depending on what service the C.P. is for (302 for FM full power, 319 for LPFM, 350 for translators and boosters).

    https://www.fcc.gov/licensing-databases/forms

    Like Bill said 98% chance they are S.O.L.

    #51382
    lastday
    Participant

    Thanks Andy.

    #51409
    lastday
    Participant

    The CP for 98.7 K254DN expired on 8-10 and there’s nothing on the air. 🙁

    #51415
    chessyduck
    Participant
    #51416
    lastday
    Participant

    Thanks chessyduck.

    Also, FYI, it isn’t about “being on the air” by the day the C.P. expires. Normally you would be on the air days, even weeks before that date. What it is about is having filed the appropriate application for license by that date.

    So they can do testing etc but they can’t officially go live without filing that form to obtain the license to cover? Just trying to understand the sequence of these licensing events.

    #51417
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    No. When you have a C.P. and build out the station, there are two operating instruments built into it. The first is called Equipment Test Authority and the other is Program Test Authority. Except for directional A.M. stations, you can test your transmitter and antenna operation with tones and IDs as soon as you are ready. If everything works to spec, you can begin airing regular programming (no ads or underwriting announcements). You must immediately notify the FCC by letter that you have begun Program Test Authority and will be submitting the appropriate form electronically called the Application for License To Cover either simultaneously or within a few days (one week max). Usually this takes place well before the date the C.P. expires and is timed with other rollout events like cross media promotions, etc.
    You can remain in Equipment Test Authority as long as you want, but once you begin to air regular programming you must file for the license within a week. Yes, sometimes all these actions happen on the last day the C.P. is active, but not normally.
    “To Cover” means to cover the Construction Permit, not to begin radio coverage.

    #51418
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    Sometimes in situations where the tests were run and were successful and other factors prevent programming from running or the transmission chain from operating, permittees have been known to file for the license and once granted (usually within 30 days) immediately file a request for Special Temporary Authority to remain silent. It’s kind of a gray area but once you’re licensed you can push off actually having to operate for a year or more. This is called squatting on the channel. It happens more than you might think.

    #51423
    lastday
    Participant

    Thanks again Andy for elaborating on the process.

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