FCC dismisses more Cesar Guel LPFM applications

So far as of this writing, the FCC has dismissed applications that were filed by Antonio Cesar Guel for new LPFM stations in San Antonio, Jacksonville, Lufkin TX, Columbia SC, Lake Charles LA and McAllen TX.

These dismissals were as a result of the Commission investigating the addresses that these applicants claimed as their headquarters.  In these cases, the Commission used public records to determine the property owners (which were mainly churches) and these property owners verified that these organizations were never headquarted at these locations.  As a result, the Commission determined that the applicant did not meet the requirements of §73.853(b)(1).  Since the same addresses were used for the board members, these addresses were dismissed for the purpose of establishing 75% of the organization's board members are local in accordance with §73.853(b)(2).  Since the localism requirements were not met, the applicant is not qualified to be an LPFM licensee and thus, the application was dimissed.

Today's decisions did bring two issues to light:

REC is filing another round of informal objections against Cesar Guel

What started at 246 applications that were filed by Antonio Cesar Guel during the 2013 LPFM filing window has now dwindled down to 85.  Many applications were dismissed at the request of Guel or due to FCC action.  Applications in North Carlolina and Texas were dismissed as a result of investigations and supplemental filings by REC.  

Through investigations, REC has cleared 19 applicants that were determined to be existing organizations and as a result, these applicants have received grants. 

In the latest wave of objections, REC is investigating the so-called "HEFF" applications.  These are the applications with a city name and then a common name such as "_____ Community Radio", "_______ Hispanic Church", "_____ Hispanic Educational Family Fundation" (or HEFF), etc.  

REC reminds FM translator applicants and LPFM permittees on protections towards unbuilt LPFM stations

REC puts out this reminder to engineers and other parties who are involved with the modification of FM translators to assure that the "note" to §74.1204(a)(4).  The note reads:

LP100 stations, to the purposes of determining overlap pursuant to this paragraph, LPFM applications and permits that have not yet been licensed must be considered as operating with the maximum permitted facilities. All LPFM TIS stations must be protected on the basis of a nondirectional antenna.

While §74.1204 does not define a "maximum permitted facility", the same language is used in §73.215(a) (4)  to refer to the maximum facilities for full power FM stations in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands which then refers to §73.211(b)(3) which defines the maximum ERP and HAAT for stations in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  

REC asks FCC for translator filing window for LPFM stations

Citing a phrase in the Local Community Radio Act, REC Networks, through a Petition for Reconsideration in MB Docket 13-249 has asked the Federal Communications Commission to extend one of the FM translator filing windows for AM stations to also include LPFM stations.  

According to the Local Community Radio Act (LCRA), passed in 2011 and signed by President Obama states that licenses for FM translator stations and low power FM stations are to be assigned "based on community need".  REC argues that the FCC did not take into consideration all community needs when moving forward with Commissioner Ajit Pai's method of "revitalizing" the AM broadcast band. 

UPDATED: Business as usual for LPFM political files despite recent online filing R&O

The FCC has issued a Report and Order in MB Docket 14-127 in regards to the public file and political file obligations of radio stations, satellite radio providers (Sirius/XM), direct broadcast satellite providers (DIRECTV & DISH) and cable television providers. 

Based on our inquiry to the FCC, it has been confirmed that this Report and Order does not apply to LPFM stations.  LPFM stations will continue to keep their political files on paper and as a part of the station records.  LPFM stations will not have access to upload public or political file data. 

First and foremost, the order does not add any new public file reporting requirements for LPFM stations.  LPFM stations are not required to maintain a public file but are required to maintain a political file. (§73.801 and §73.1943)