The FCC has received a deluge of applications for new FM translator stations. Figures released today indicate a total of 13,306 applications were filed for new translator stations during a filing window in March.
This is an unprecedented demand for new translator stations, and it represents a real threat to the expansion of the fledgling LPFM service. While the FCC expects to license only a few hundred new 100-watt community stations from the first batch of applicants, longer-term plans call for future LPFM license filing windows.
As there are only a finite number of open channels available, it appears that this mass filing is designed to snap up the vast majority of open frequencies nationwide where translator or LPFM stations might be sited. If the plan were to succeed, it would be as if someone slammed the door on any LPFM expansion – the FM dial would be jammed with translator stations.