FAQ: I have filed an LPFM application in the 2023 Window and I have noticed a mistake. What can I do?
You need to review your application fully before filing to assure that all information on that application is correct.
If, during the filing window and after certifying the application and receiving a file number, you notice that there is a mistake on the application, the ability to correct the application will depend on what the mistake was and when it was caught.
If caught before the window closes
Mistakes caught before the window closes can be corrected before the window closes. You may file an amendment to the application to make the corrections.
Please keep in mind that when you file an amendment, whether during or after the window closes, you want to make sure that the rest of the application looks good and you do not have to go back in to make yet another correction. Once an amendment is filed, the amended version of the application will first go into “review” status. Each amendment needs to be checked by Audio Division staff. As long as staff considers the amendment as being permitted, the amended version of the application will go to “pending” status (the previous version will go to “superceded” status). This process may take more than a day at Staff, so please make sure you have all corrections made in that amendment.
After the window closes
Amendments can be filed after 6PM EST on January 31, 2023.
After the filing window, there are things you can and cannot correct.
The following are considered as fatal mistakes and cannot be fixed after the close of the window:
- Any short-spacing (not meeting all minimum distance separations) on the application without a request for a waiver (such as a second-adjacent channel waiver). This includes applications for 88.1~91.9 that are short-spaced to a Channel 6 TV facility.
- Applications for organizations, which on December 13, 2023, were not incorporated or were incorporated but their corporation status was suspended by the state for reasons such as failure to file an annual report or failure to pay fees or taxes.
- Applications that, on December 13, 2023, had not obtained site assurance or if a claim of site assurance is provided, a subsequent investigation discovers that site assurance was never obtained.
- Applications that include a party to the application, who at one time had engaged in unauthorized broadcasting (pirate radio). Attempts to remove the person through an amendment after the close of the window will not be accepted by the FCC.
Applicant’s general information
General information about the applicant, such as a spelling error, address error, etc. can be changed on an amendment. The application should already include information about the organization to demonstrate that they are incorporated.
You are not able to change the application to a different organization after the filing window.
Parties to the application
Corrections to the spelling of names and addresses, as well as corrections to phone numbers and email addresses are permitted.
If board members are changing or being added on, the board members who were on the application at the time the window closes must still represent at least 50% of the board members shown on all subsequent amendments to the application.
If after the window is closed, you discover a mistake on your technical parameters (such as location, channel, heights, etc.), you may be able to make a correction. The correction must be one that can be done as a minor change, thus meaning:
- The corrected location is within 11.2 km of the previous location (or there is demonstrated 60 dBu contour overlap between both locations), and
- The corrected channel is either the same channel, the first-adjacent (+/- 0.2 MHz), second-adjacent (+/- 0.4 MHz), third-adjacent (+/- 0.6 MHz) or intermediate frequency (+/- 10.6 or 10.8 MHz) channel.
You are able to correct your overall tower and radiation center heights. If you asked for a second-adjacent channel waiver, please make sure that your waiver request matches what is on the application itself.
Any corrections to technical parameters must meet all distance separation requirements and does not result in new mutual exclusivity (this involves a change where the mistaken information was in one group of mutual exclusive applicants and the new information places the applicant into another mutually exclusive group).
Please note that in cases where there is a conflict between the technical parameters shown on the application and the technical parameters described in an exhibit, the FCC will only consider the parameters that are on the application itself. An exhibit cannot override the data on the application. (It is appropriate to use an exhibit to override application information in certain cases, such as requesting reduced power in order to achieve a second-adjacent channel waiver, an adjustment in height above average terrain due to a nearby large body of water or foreign territory or to use alternate terrain data, etc.)
LPFM Point Factors
Applicants are unable to file an amendment to improve a comparative position resulting in an increased score and/or improved position in the tie-breaker. This means amendments cannot be made to:
- Change the Established Community Presence question from “N/A” to another choice, resulting in an increased score;
- Change the Main Studio, Local Programming, Main Studio and Local Programming, Diversity and/or Tribal questions from “no” to “yes”, resulting in an increased score;
- Upload any additional documentation in order to justify the Established Community Presence point and tie-breaker date; or
- Change the Established Community Presence date to an earlier date.
You are permitted to amend the application to reflect point system issues that may diminish your score or tie-breaker standing, such as:
- Change the Established Community Presence question to “N/A”, resulting in a decreased score;
- Change Main Studio, Local Programming, Main Studio and Local Programming, Diversity and/or Tribal questions from “yes” to “no”, resulting in a decreased score, or
- Change the Established Community Presence date to a later date.
If you need to amend your application to correct or change your organization’s headquarters or board member addresses and those changes would make your organization eligible for the Established Community Presence point, you cannot claim that point after the window closes.
Educational statements may be amended to better reflect how the applicant is an educational organization and the station will advance their educational objectives through over the air teaching/instruction.
If an application is dismissed
In the event that an application is dismissed for defects, certain defects can be corrected within 30 days under the FCC’s nunc pro tunc policy or through a Petition for Reconsideration.
If an application is dismissed due to defective technical parameters, the application can be amended nunc pro tunc within 30 days as long as:
- The technical correction can be done as a minor change (see above) and
- The correction is not one that corrects information that would otherwise be considered as “fatal” (see above).
In some cases, applications that were dismissed for reasons, such as a weak educational statement or for reasons that you feel may have resulted in a dismissal in error may be amended and reinstatement requested through a Petition for Reconsideration. This cannot be used to rectify a defect that is considered “fatal”. This must be done within 30 days of the dismissal as after a period of 30 days following the date that a dismissal is announced on a public notice or Order, then dismissal is finalized and there is no opportunity for reinstatement.
Applications that were dismissed for defects and amended nunc pro tunc must fix all application defects, including any that were not originally noted by the FCC in the course of their dismissal. If a nunc pro tunc application is subsequently dismissed, the application cannot be amended again through the nunc pro tunc process.
REC recommends that you prepare your application in the FCC’s systems before the window opens and that you fully review your entries and documents at that time. We also recommend that during the filing window, that you thoroughly check your application again for errors before filing. We do not recommend waiting until the last minute for filing. Applications filed any time during the window will be considered as simultaneously filed and therefore, filing early will not give an advantage either in outcome or in processing time by Staff.
We do not recommend filing on the first or last days of the windows as those are the busiest days and could result in the LMS system acting slow, returning error messages or logging you out in the middle of an application. We recommend applicants file on December 7 through 10. This way the systems will be less busy and still gives some time to fix any errors that may have been missed the first time.
Filing window cut-off time
The filing window closes at 6PM Eastern Standard Time (technically 17:59:59 EST) on Wednesday, December 13. This means that for those on the west coast, that is 3PM. The system will not permit any applications after that time, even if there were system issues before then. Even if your are still working on your application when the 6PM cut off comes around, if it is not filed before 6PM, the application will not be accepted. At the 6PM cut off time, it is expected that LMS will be completely shut down and you will not be able to interact with your application in order to complete it.
Again, do not wait until the last minute to file. Get your applications in earlier during the window. This will be your last chance for many years.