What rules and policies can't be changed through rulemaking

Based on REC's interpretation of the Local Community Radio Act (LCRA), the following things can't be changed through rulemaking: 

  • §73.807(a)(1), (b)(1), (c)(1): Some form of co-channel, first-adjacent and second-adjacent protection to full-service FM and FM translators. [2(a)(1)]
  • §73.854: Exclusion from LPFM if a party on the application has engaged in unauthorized operation under 47 USC 301 [2(a)(2)]
  • §73.807(a)(1), (b)(1): The elimination of a distance separation requirement between LPFM stations and full power FM stations [3(b)(1)] (note: our interpretation of this also means that distance separation is not required towards translators or other LPFM stations as, in the case of FM translators, some form of protection is prescribed.)
  • §73.807(e): Any change of the definition of "interference" in respect to second-adjacent channel short spaced stations [3(b)(2)]  (note: The LCRA does not define "interference".  There's nowhere in the LCRA that states that a second adjacent channel must have a 40 dB undesired-to-desired ratio.  We believe that this rule can be challenged by the FCC defining "interference" in respect to second-adjacent channels.)
  • §73.807(a)(2): The elimination of the third-adjacent channel protection requirements towards stations running radio reading services [4] (note: REC supports that the FCC updates the list of stations running these services. The current list used is from 17 years ago. In April, 2020, the Commission announced that they will not publish a list and therefore, will not proactively enforce this statute/rule but instead, would rely on complaints from reading service stations.)
  • The elevation of LPFM (or translators) to primary status. [5(3)]
  • §73.827(a): The elimination of or changes to the "predicted interference area" in respect to LPFM stations operating that, on a third adjacent channel has a nearby translator which uses that channel is its input. [6]
  • §73.810(a)(1): The elimination of translator-style interference rules to protect full-service stations on "short-spaced" third adjacent channels. [7(1)]
  • §73.810(b)(2): The periodic announcement requirement for third-adjacent channel stations. [7(2)] (note: We are still under the position that the FCC misinterpreted this statute as to apply to LPFM stations that are not third-adjacent "short-spaced". It is REC's position that it should apply to LPFMs that are third-adjacent short spaced.)

As REC has mentioned in previous filings, the following changes also can not take place through the rulemaking process:

  • A commercial LPFM service where mutually exclusive applicants can be decided without auctions.  [47 USC §309(j) as amended by the Omnibus Budget Reconcilliation Act of 1993 and Title III of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997]
  • A commercial LPFM service with a nationwide ownership cap.  [Telecommunications Act of 1996, section 202]
  • A commercial LPFM service without filing or regulatory fees. [47 USC §158 & 159]