It’s fish-or-cut-bait time for folks who filed more than 10 applications for FM translators in FM Auction No. 83 back in 2003: if you still have more than 10 applications pending from that window, you must decide – by April 3 – which 10 you want to continue to prosecute, and which others may be dismissed.  If you fail to make that call by April 3, the FCC will make it for you.   

In a Public Notice released March 4, the Commission followed up on the "limit of 10" policy which it had announced in its December 11, 2007 decision in the Low Power FM proceeding.

The "limit of 10" policy was established to address the Commission’s "concerns about the integrity of [its] FM translator licensing procedures."  While 80 percent of filers in the 2003 FM translator window submitted 10 or fewer proposals, a handful of applicants filed many more.  The two most active filers – the commonly-owned Radio Assist Ministries and Edgewater – filed 4,219 proposals collectively, representing nearly a third of the Auction No. 83 filings.

Any applicant with more than 10 applications on file has an opportunity, until April 3, to advise the Commission which 10 applications it wishes to continue to prosecute (and, therefore, which other applications may be voluntarily dismissed).  If an applicant fails to notify the FCC of its decision by the deadline, the Commission will retain the 10 first-filed applications – based purely on file number – and will dismiss all later-filed applications.

The application limit applies only to short-form applications (applicants can retain more than 10 long-form applications) BUT parties should pay close attention to the Commission’s guidelines to ensure that high-priority applications are not dismissed.  Applicants with more than 10 long-form applications and no short-form applications on file will have all of their long-form applications processed.  But where an applicant filed more than 10 long-form and short-form applications combined, construction permits granted from the group of pending long-form applications will be counted toward the limit of 10.  Therefore, it may be in a party’s best interest to voluntarily dismiss select long-form applications to avoid the dismissal of higher-priority short-form applications.

Instructions on how to notify the Commission of voluntary dismissal selections are set out in the Public Notice.  Please contact FHH if you have any questions or would like assistance in notifying the Commission of your selections.