Another nail in the coffin of rural/suburban radio
On Friday during the full Commission meeting, the FCC has adopted a report on MB Docket 05-210 for changes on city of license and other broadcast allotment issues in the AM and FM radio services. According to the FCCs news release, some of the changes include:
- The ability to move an AM or FM radio station from one community of license to another through a minor change application (where in the past for FM, it required amending the Table of Allotments).
- Requiring an FCC Form 301 with the filing fee when petitioning the FCC to drop in an FM allotment.
- Eliminate the prohibition of electronic filing for Table of Allotments proceedings.
In our original 05-210 comments, REC opposed changing a community of license as a minor change as this type of change will only make it easier for broadcasters to perform "metro moves". We really need to read the actual Report and Order which is not out yet. We need to see how the FCC is going to address issues such as qualification for a community under the FM Table of Allotments.
REC supports the other issues at hand including the mandatory 301 filing with a petition for a drop-in allotment. We feel that such a change will filter out the frivilous petitions such as the Mountain West ones from a few years ago. We also definitely support the ability to file electronic comments in Table of Allotments cases. This will make the process more accessible to the public. Until we see the R&O, we don't know if the FCC acted on our comments regarding no longer requiring service on Table of Allotments proceedings.
More info will follow with the issuance of the R&O.
The FCC also has declared Broadband over Power Line (BPL) internet access service as a Title I 'information service'. This puts BPL on an equal footing with DSL and cable modem services. The FCC will also seek comments on communications towers and their impacts on migratory birds.