Freeze on proposed changes to reference points of channels up for grabs REMAINS IN EFFECT; Freeze on ALL minor FM mods now set to commence at 11:59 p.m. on February 5, 2010

That was quick. The Commission has announced that it is postponing the upcoming opportunity to file for certain vacant NCE-reserved channels. Just a week after that opportunity was first announced (and reported here), the Commission has pushed back the dates by two months. According to a public notice released on October 23, the filing window will now open up on February 19, 2010, and shut down on February 26, 2010.

When the filing opportunity was first announced, the Commission also simultaneously imposed a freeze on any applications proposing to modify the reference coordinates of any of the 67 allotments available for filing during the upcoming window. That freeze, which started on October 16, is still in place notwithstanding the postponement, and will remain in place until the day after the close of the extended filing window. You can read more about that freeze here.

A separate freeze – on any commercial or noncommercial FM minor mod applications – was also originally announced to go into effect on November 25 and extend until the close of the window. That separate freeze has also been postponed: now that freeze on all minor mod FM applications will commence at 11:59 p.m. on February 5, 2010. It will continue in effect until the close of the window.

The postponement was sought by a number of NCE broadcast groups and their supporters, who argued that the two-month ramp-up time provided in the first place would be inadequate for many prospective NCE applicants. Reflecting what appears to be an acute sensitivity to such arguments (or, possibly to such supplicants), the Media Bureau granted their request less than 24 hours after that request had been submitted.

We can only hope that this establishes a “same day service” standard which will be available to one and all who seek accommodations from the Commission.