The window will be open through August 30, but it may pay to act sooner than that.
The long-awaited white flag has been waved and the last lap has begun: the Media Bureau has opened the window for the 1,239 FM vintage 2003 translator applicants previously identified as “singletons”. They can now file their long-form applications (Form 349). Can’t remember whether you’re one of those lucky 1,239? Here’s a PDF of the list and, perhaps more helpfully, here’s a sliceable and diceable spreadsheet version of the same list.
The filing opportunity is not without its gotchas.
First and foremost, the deadline: the window will be open only until through Friday, August 30, 2013. The clock is ticking. [Blogmeister’s Note: We originally indicated that August 30 would be a Tuesday; our bad. That mistake has been corrected, thanks to a tip from one of our readers.]
And heads up – if you’re planning on amending your technical proposal, it does NOT pay to dilly-dally until the very last day of the window period. That’s because the long-form application (and amendments) will be entitled to protection from all subsequently-filed FM translator applications (and their amendments).
Applicants will need to include a filing fee and Form 159 with their long-forms, but since the long-forms must be filed electronically through CDBS, you’ll be reminded of that when you file. CDBS may not alert you, however, to the fact that your application will be subject to a number of limitations.
For example, modifications to the last-filed tech proposal may be proposed in the long-forms, but any modifications must be limited to “minor” changes and, as noted above, facilities proposed in long-form applications will be accorded protection from other FM translator applications on a first-come, first-served basis. If you propose new facilities that amount to a “major” change, you can expect to be summarily shown the door. Ditto if your amended proposal conflicts with any pending Auction 83 tech box proposal.
Also, applicants looking to change their technical proposals from the specs that were on file as of June 16, 2013 MUST INCLUDE a Preclusion Showing relative to LPFM filing opportunities. (You can find background about such Preclusion Showings, and some useful links, in our previous posts on the subject.)
And the public notice makes explicit what we had previously predicted:
[A]ny Form 349, to the extent it differs from the underlying tech box proposal (as pending on June 16, 2013), is not protected from applications submitted during the October 2013 (LPFM) filing window.
There are various other considerations to bear in mind. They’re laid out clearly – some even in lots of bold face type, so you know the staff is really serious about them – in the public notice announcing the window. Anyone with an application listed among the 1,239 singletons should read that notice super-carefully. It would be a shame to have waited more than a decade, only to stumble on one or another minor detail at this very last minute.