Apps on Maps: LPFM Application Information Now Available on Google Earth Maps

As we reported last week, the list of LPFM applications filed during the 2013 window is now available. For those of you who might prefer a more visual means of determining where those applications happen to be geographically, our friends at Cavell Mertz have advised us of a nifty feature that they provide – free of charge, thank you very much – through their website at They have layered the LPFM application data onto Google Earth. So if you’ve got Google Earth already loaded on your computer, just click here to access the feature.

(If you don’t have Google Earth loaded yet, you might want to get on that – but be sure to allow several days which you’ll probably diddle away using the program to find images of your house, or your school, or all the major league baseball parks you’ve ever been to, or that place you went fishing a couple of years ago, or . . . you get the idea.)

Once you click on the link above, you will likely get a message asking what program you want to use to get things started. Pick “Google Earth”.

You will then be presented with a Google Earth image of the lower 48 states in the main pane. You should see a vertical sidebar along the left side of screen. (If you don’t, click on “View” in the top menu bar and then click on “Sidebar”.) In the sidebar you should see a line entry reading “2013 LPFM Applications”.  Click on the triangular icon at the far left of that entry and a subfolder named “LPFM Applications by Channel” will appear. Click on the triangular icon at the far left of that entry and a listing of all FM channels will appear.

Now you’re set to explore what channels are being proposed for LPFM use where and by whom. Click on any one of the channel listings in the sidebar, then zoom in on any area on the U.S. image in the main pane. (You can zoom by doubleclicking on a particular area.) Bingo, if there are any LPFM applications on the selected channel in the zoomed-in area, you will see small green indicators, each next to the legend “NEW (FL) – APP”. Those are LPFM applications. Click on an indicator and up will pop a note providing the proposed specs (power, HAAT), Facility ID number associated with the application, and the applicant’s name. You’ll also get a couple of links that take you to additional information about the application.

(And talk about precision! The power and antenna height are calculated out to six (count ’em, six!) decimal places. Those calculations are from the FCC, based on the technical information in the application.)

If you have filed an LPFM application and want to get an idea of whether you have company, this is a handy tool. It should also help full-service licensees concerned about possible nearby LPFM encroachment on their channels. Thanks to Mike Rhodes at Cavell Mertz for passing the word along about this.

Low Numbers for Low Power

LPFM applications are now available in CDBS; far fewer were filed than had been expected.

2,799 is the magic number – at least according to our friend, Dave Doherty at Skywaves Consulting. That would be Dave’s calculation of the number of LPFM applications filed during the just-closed window period. So if you had 2,799 in your office pool, you should be a happy camper – if, that is, Dave’s calculation holds up. (We had heard a slightly different unofficial figure of 2,819 from another usually reliable source, although a wild card search of CDBS does seem to confirm Dave’s number. Whoever’s holding the stakes in your pool might want to hold off on the pay-out until that slight discrepancy gets cleared up.)

In any event, the LPFM applications are now apparently available in CDBS, so Dave has worked his spreadsheet magic again (like he did earlier this year, on the FM translator front). If you would like to see Dave’s list of 2,799 sorted by state, city and frequency, click here; if you’d like to see the list sorted by frequency, state and city, click here. His lists are unofficial, of course, but they should provide anyone who’s interested a reasonably complete look at the lay of the LPFM land post-window. At a minimum, they should help interested folks get at least a sense of who filed, where, and for what channels.

In any event, the total number of LPFM applications filed appears to be vastly below the worst-case scenarios that a number of observers had feared. Why was the final number so small compared with the pre-window speculation? It’s impossible to say right now, and we may never know for sure. But the fewer LPFM applications that got filed in this go-round, theoretically the more opportunities for FM translators still exist – and that could bode well for AM folks, should the AM revitalization proceeding lead to an AM-only window for new FM translators.

We understand that the Commission’s staff is already hard at work examining the LoPo applications that were filed, whatever the precise number. While some winnowing is almost certain to occur as defective applications – and you’ve got to expect that there are at least some in that category – get weeded out, the smart money seems to think that several hundred singleton LPFM permits may be grantable in very short order. Check back here for updates on that front.

[Blogmeister’s Update (11/22/13, 3:45 p.m.): We have received official word of the final tallies from the FCC. They received a total of 2,799 applications for new LPFM permits. (Props to Dave Doherty – he nailed that number.) Additionally, 19 applications for major changes to outstanding LPFM licenses and two applications for major changes to outstanding LPFM CPs were filed, bring the grand total to 2,820. And Jim Bradshaw, Deputy Chief, Engineering of the Audio Division, has advised us that the staff has already accepted (as of 11/22/13) more than 100 singleton LPFM applications. (Acceptance starts the 30-day petition to deny period.)]

More FM Translator Applications Down the Tubes

Media Bureau gives Dave Doherty a break, provides itemized list of latest victims

In what may be the last peristaltic spasm of the FM translator review process, the Media Bureau has announced that it has dismissed “several dozen” (by our count it’s a total of 40) remaining FM translator applications that were filed back in 2003. According to its public notice, the Bureau “has now completed” its review of the Selection Lists and Cap Showings filed last month by translator applicants and “has identified those applications which do not satisfy filing requirements”. So if your application (a) wasn’t already tossed out in last week’s mass dismissal and (b) isn’t listed in this most recent batch, then presumably you’ve survived the cut and your application can now be processed. 

No official word yet on when the next processing steps are likely to happen, but we’re guessing they’ll be happening sooner rather than later – possibly in a matter of a few weeks. As we have previously reported, the Commission has made clear its hope that the next LPFM window can be opened promptly (as early as next October, if the Chairman has his way), and the Bureau has thus far been doing its darnedest to turn that hope into reality.

One additional note: Unlike last week – when the Bureau tossed more than 3,000 applications without issuing any itemized public notice specifically identifying those applications – this time around it has provided a listing of the 40 latest victims in PDF and Excel formats, convenient for easy slicing and dicing. That should take our friend Dave Doherty off the hook this time around.

Lists of Surviving FM Translator Applications Now Available

Apparently undaunted by the approaching blizzard, Dave Doherty at Skywaves Consulting up in Millbury, Massachusetts, has been hard at work culling potentially useful information from CDBS about the FM translator application situation. Now, in addition to the lists of dismissed applications he passed along to us a few days ago, he has provided a couple of lists reflecting all the vintage 2003 FM translator applications that survived the first round of dismissals. Here you go: a list of surviving applications arranged alphabetically by applicant, and a list of the same applications arranged by state and city. This, ideally, will help address the concerns expressed by a commenter to an earlier post,

Dave cautions that the Media Bureau has indicated that more applications may be headed for the Dismissalville in the near term – thanks, apparently, to the fact that some applicants’ tech showings were either messed up or MIA, thus requiring additional staff analysis. The smart money figures that such additional analysis will identify more applications destined for the dumpster. Presumably the Bureau will let us all know if and when that happens, but you never know.

And while caution is being dispensed, we’ll add here that we have not test-driven Dave’s latest set of lists, so you rely on them at your own risk. But, as we noted the last time around, the lists provide a more useful approach than the Bureau’s public notice. Thanks again, Dave – and don’t hurt yourself shoveling snow!

FM Translator Dismissal Aftermath - The Private Sector to the Rescue!

Searchable lists of the 3,000+ dismissed applications now available

Let’s have a big CommLawBlog cheer for the private sector! As we reported yesterday, the Media Bureau unceremoniously dumped about 3,000 FM translator applications into the trash. In doing so, the Bureau chose not to issue the type of public notice that usually accompanies such actions. Instead, the staff issued a public notice announcing, in general terms, that it had tossed the apps, and advising that anyone who wanted to know which applications had been tossed could knock themselves out performing wildcard searches in CDBS. As we observed, this approach was not especially helpful to folks in the private sector who might have an interest in figuring out which applications were gone and which are still alive and kicking.

Fortunately, Dave Doherty from Skywaves Consulting LLC in Millbury, Massachusetts has come to the rescue. Dave has prepared two lists of all the dismissed applications. One list is organized alphabetically by applicant, the other alphabetically by state. They both contain the same data – Facility ID Number, Channel, Frequency, State, City, Applicant Name and File Number.  Both lists are searchable. We haven't doublechecked Dave's handiwork, so if you're inclined to rely on it, you do so at your own risk.  But at least it attempts to provide a more useful approach to the dismissed translators than the FCC did.  We asked Dave if we could post links to his two lists for our readers, and he graciously agreed. Thanks, Dave! (Dave’s contact information is available on his lists, if you want to thank him personally.)