The FCC released a Public Notice today establishing deadlines for submitting comments on its proposed rules to permit limited, voluntary program origination on FM boosters.  Comments must be filed no later than May 16.  Reply comments must be filed no later than June 17. 

The proposed rules would provide flexibility for stations to use boosters to transmit hyper-local advertising and programming, independent of the primary station signal.  

As discussed in our prior post, the FCC is seeking comment on issues including:  

  • Whether to limit each full-service FM station to 25 program originating boosters; 
  • How to select between mutually exclusive booster applications; 
  • Whether rules should include a mechanism for addressing claims of predicted interference while the booster’s construction permit is pending; 
  • Whether to require broadcasters to synchronize the signal of a program originating booster with the signal of its primary station; 
  • Whether broadcasters should be required to notify all EAS participants monitoring the primary station that its booster originates programming; and 
  • Whether broadcasters should be required to maintain a political folder for the booster within the political file of its primary station. 

For more information or to discuss commenting on any of the proposed rules by the May 16 and June 17 deadlines, please contact your attorney at Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth.