MMTC: Small biz hurt by delays, payments


A minority-advocacy group is asking the Federal Communications Commission to
repeal a policy requiring winners of broadcast-license auctions to pay the
entire cost of construction permits upfront, even if a third party has
petitioned to deny the license.

The policy is particularly harmful to small businesses, the Minority Media
Telecommunications Council said, because they can't get financing if their money is
going to be locked up pending an FCC inquiry.

"Lenders are interested in building businesses, not in parking money in
escrow accounts," MMTC executive director David Honig wrote in support of
Delta Radio Inc.'s effort to build an FM station in Greenville, Miss.

Additionally, the FCC policy has the inadvertent effect of encouraging losing
bidders to file petitions to deny permits in hopes of preventing winners from
actually building the stations.