FCC pushes to resolve LPFM applications

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The Federal Communications Commission Thursday took the first steps toward
following through on Chairman Michael Powell’s pledge to speed the approval of
LPFM stations as part of his localism initiative.

Those steps include helping station-seekers with conflicting applications to
find alternative channels on the band and permitting settlement payoffs for more
than cost.

The commission Thursday said that any outstanding mutually exclusive
applications for LPFM stations that are settled by Oct. 31 will receive
expedited processing. No partial settlements need apply, however.

To further encourage "the rapid licensing of new LPFM stations," the Media
Bureau said it will allow applicants to resolve technical conflicts by seeking
out an alternate frequency among all available FM channels.

The bureau has "reactivated" a channel-finding online tool, which is located
at http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/lpfm_channel_finder.html.

The FCC will also allow settlements for more than "legitimate and prudent
expenses," waiving its prohibition on such payments and on associated
"certification and disclosure requirements."

Petitions to deny the grants can still be filed within 30 days of the FCC’s
public notice of settlement approval.

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