FCC denies Prometheus reconsideration request on AM Revitalization decision to not limit cross-service translators to 40 miles. (This is not the recent Informal Objection filings)
Yesterday, the FCC denied the timely-filed Petition for Reconsideration of Prometheus Radio Project in regards to the Second Report and Order that changed rules that stated where a cross-service (AM) translator can be placed. Under the previous rules, cross-service translator service contours were limited to their 2 mV/m daytime contour but no more than 25 miles from the AM station. Under the revised rules, those service contours were limited to an area that consisted of the 2 mV/m or 25 miles, whichever was longer in the subject direction and with no outer limit.
Prometheus filed reconsideration because the NPRM originally proposed a 40 mile outer limit. In their decision, the FCC stated that Prometheus failed to really quantify the impact to the LPFM service. While REC has not formally tracked this data, we are aware of only a couple of cases including a fairly high-profile case in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex that involved a translator moving past the 40 mile line and coming in close on an LPFM. The Commission also stated that Prometheus failed to make a showing that the decision violated the Administrative Procedures Act.
Because of this decision, the FCC declared Prometheus' request for partial stay right around the time when the rule was going to take effect as moot. REC opposed the stay request in support of "mom and pop" and small group community-focused Class C and D AM stations that would have been directly impacted by the stay.
REC still believes that Class C and D AM stations, especially those in rural areas, have translators that serve those rural areas and owned by families, women, minorities and other underrepresented classes are also a part of the community radio equation and while there are some bad actors among AM broadcast owners, there are many owners who did not make it their goal in life to "destroy LPFM" despite the rhetoric you hear.
REC wishes to point out that this specific decision is not related to the nearly one-thousand informal objections recently filed by Prometheus, Common Frequency and others in order to stop all new and modification applications for FM translators. On that issue, REC continues to call on Prometheus, et. al. to gracefully withdraw their Informal Objections.
The FCC's decision can be found here: