REC proposes ideas to FCC to allow for translator/LPFM co-existence

REC has submitted comments to the FCC regarding the 6,400 applications for FM translators that were filed in the 2003 Auction 83 filing window, a window that REC later referred to as "The Great Translator Invasion" because the FCC received over 12,000 applications for original construction permits including thousands from two commonly owned entities.

Many in the LPFM community, including REC have stated that the granting of these translator applications have completely foreclosed on the future availability of LPFM in many major areas.

In 2010, LPFM advocate Prometheus Radio Project reached a memorandum of understanding with "satellator" broadcaster Educational Media Foundation (K-Love and Air-1 Radio) to allow LPFM applications to file on top of translator applications if there is a demonstrated community need for local LPFM stations. This was also as a result of a cap of 10 translator applications per applicant that was imposed and challenged back in 2007.

While at the time, REC supported a cap on translator applications, we thought that 10 was too restrictive. REC had proposed a "point" system where there was a cap that was weighted to support the use of local/nearby stations while discouraging "distant" translators.

Under the new 2011 REC plan called 2x70 (two by seventy), REC developed a criteria that called for the availability of at least 2 properly spaced (at least two channels apart) LPFM channels to be available within 70% of the proposed translator's 60dBu service contour.

Translators that meet this criteria can be granted. Many of these applicants will still have to dispute issues of mutual exclusivity with other pending translator applicants.)

For full information on the results and which applications fall under each list, check out our Auction 83 page: