LMS systems issues causes major FCC delay on processing FM applications

"Growing pains" associated with the Federal Communications Commission recent conversion of FM engineering applications such as modifications and licenses is causing substantial delays in the processing of broadcast applications.  

According to the FCC's Audio Division, there are various problems with the Licensing and Management System (LMS) that is preventing the Division from processing a number of applications.  In a statement to REC, the Audio Division has stated that fixing the LMS issue is one of their highest priorities right now but it may take 2 to 3 months to fix the problems in order to be able to grant the applications.  Once the problems are fixed, the Division anticipates normal processing times going forward.   This impacts applications originally filed in the LMS system (all-numeric file numbers, not the ones that begin with "B").

As of the writing of this article, there are currently 21 LPFM modification and 12 license applications that were originated in LMS that are still pending, however this problem is not exclusive to just LPFM. Full service currently has 42 pending modification and 34 pending license applications, FM translators have 99 pending modification and 91 pending license applications.  FM boosters have 4 modifications, 2 license applications and one original construction permit application pending.  Pending applications for LPFM, full-service and FM translators to back to early October.  Since the implementation of LMS, there have 72 actions taken on LMS-originated FM applications for modification of facility, modification of license and license to cover.

This LMS issue is not impacting license renwal applications nor does it impact video services. For full service stations, it is not impacting ownership and EEO reports.

REC advises all applicants to file their license applications on time to prevent expiration of the underlying construction permit.  As long as a license application is timely filed, authority will be extended to operate pending the action on the license application.

LPFM applicants waiting on modifications that are related to resolving substantial interference issues or those that are facing a silent station deadline should contact Michelle Bradley at REC Networks who will then vet and channel the requests to the Audio Division and track the progress of the request.  

Unless specifically instructed to by Commission staff or REC, please do not file an STA (special temporary authority) to expedite a pending modification application.  STAs are still filed in CDBS and can continue to be used for cases where an STA is appropriate such a short-term change in facility, filing of requests to go silent as well as notifications of resumption of operations.

Applications for assignments and transfers are still filed in CDBS and should process as normal but may experience some delays due to the overall impact on staff resources related to resolving the LMS system issues for FM.

REC also recommends that LPFM and other applicants follow resources such as FCC.today and FCCdata.org to keep up with the status of applications.