NAB Opposes Petitions for Reconsideration of LPFM Rules
|RADIO ONLINE | Thursday, August 15, 2019|
The National Association of Broadcasters is opposing the Petitions for Reconsideration filed by certain low power FM (LPFM) radio advocates of the Commission's recent order streamlining its rules regarding FM translator interference. The trade group says that "instead of raising any new evidence or arguments, the petitioners unfairly suggest that the Commission is somehow biased against LPFM service."
NAB says the Commission has "worked hard" to "balance the needs of translator, low power FM and full-service licensees." "It has crafted reasonable rules and policies for streamlining the resolution of translator interference conflicts that take into account the interests of all stakeholders, including LPFM licensees," NAB wrote in a FCC filing.
NAB submits that the Petitions should be dismissed as "the Petitioners have allowed their views on the Commission's priorities to cloud their judgment of the rational, even handed approach in the Order. Like many proceedings, the Order did not fully satisfy all the stakeholders. However, the Commission struck a reasonable balance overall that addressed the interests of translator, LPFM and FM licensees."
The major concerns filed by the Petitioners repeat arguments that were previously raised in comments on the NPRM in the proceeding, as well as in several other proceedings, which the Commission thoroughly considered in the Order. LPFM-C again claims that LCRA mandates equal regulation of translators and LPFMs, meaning that the creation of an outer interference contour limit for translators requires the Commission to provide LPFM stations with equivalent certainty.
The Commission fully addressed this issue in the Order, says NAB: "[We] clarify that establishment of an outer contour limit does not conflict with LCRA Section 5 because it is well-established that the LCRA does not require identical regulation of each secondary service." The trade group maintains that the Commission has considered this same question repeatedly, including in a recent NPRM that intends to "increase flexibility in siting while maintaining interference protection and the core LPFM goals of diversity and localism."