Pai: NCE and LPFM filing windows are coming
The FCC released a July 21, 2020 letter from Chairman Ajit Pai to New Mexico Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM-02) in reply to her inquiry on the future of filing windows for new LPFM stations. In this letter, the Chairman stated that before there is an LPFM window, there will be a filing window for full-service NCE stations. NCE stations have been waiting longer for a filing window (2007 for reserved band, 2010 for commercial-band vacant allotments) than LPFM has (2013).
Pai anticipates that the NCE window will open shortly after new service rules go into effect later this year. The service rules being discussed are those that were from MB Docket 19-3, which was adopted in early 2019. 19-3 included many changes to the application process as well as the handling of mutually exclusive applications in both the LPFM and NCE-FM services. Currently, the adopted rules are awaiting enactment pending the review by the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act. Comments regarding the proposed information collection and form changes from MB Docket 19-3, as well as from MB Dockets 19-193 and 17-264 close today. REC has participated in that comment proceeding. Once through the OMB process, the rules are expected to be enacted late fourth quarter 2020.
Nothing is official until it is. Stay tuned for more details as we get them.