The Commission has invited public comment on the NPR proposal to deep-six Section 73.525, the rule requiring that noncommercial FM stations provide special protection for Channel 6 TV stations. In a routine public notice issued just two weeks after the NPR petition for rulemaking was filed, the FCC opened a 30-day comment period. (We wrote about the NPR filing when it first surfaced.) You’ve got until December 2, 2009, to chip in your two cents’ worth.
This is a very preliminary step in the rulemaking process. The mere fact that the Commission has asked for comments does not necessarily mean that the NPR proposal will ever go anywhere. Even if the FCC is favorably disposed to NPR’s suggestion, there are a lot of time-consuming hurdles – e.g., issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking, a comment/reply comment period usually lasting at least a month or two, lots of bureaucratic head-scratching, issuance of a Report and Order, reconsiderations, appeals, etc. – that would need to be jumped before we could bid farewell to Section 73.525. In other words, there is probably no urgent need to sound off about the NPR proposal now, but if you feel like doing so, the door is open through December 2.