FCC To Issue Rulemaking On Translator Interference Complaints

FCC Federal Communications Commission RadioInsight Premium ReportThe FCC has approved its proposal to issue a new set of rules governing translator interference complaints.

At its monthly open meeting, the four current commissioners agreed to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking over what will be necessary for a translator creating interference or receiving interference from another signal to be shut down and to make it easier for the translator to move to a new frequency.

Among the new rules that the agency intends to place into its final rulemaking are that translators will be able to make moves beyond what is currently considered a minor change to find a new frequency, it will require six legitimate complaints to shut down as opposed to the one it takes now, and placing a distance limit on which a station can claim a complaint outside of its protected contour.

The FCC also approved a change to no longer require stations to post their licenses in specific locations.

The Federal Communications Commission today issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to streamline FM translator interference complaint and remediation procedures. FM translator stations simultaneously rebroadcast the signal of a primary AM or FM station or another FM translator signal on a different frequency.

As secondary stations, translators are required to eliminate all interference or stop broadcasting. Due to the success of the AM revitalization proceeding and the resulting substantial increase in translator licenses, the process for resolving FM translator interference complaints has become more important. As a result, this is an appropriate time for the Commission to examine how to streamline and expedite the complaint resolution process.

Among other things, the NPRM tentatively concludes that:

  • If interference is shown to or from any other station, FM translators should have greater flexibility to move to another available frequency;
  • A minimum of six complaints should be required to support an interference claim;
  • Revised rules are needed to clarify and standardize complaint requirements;
  • Proposed technical criteria should be used to assess actual and predicted interference;
  • and An outer distance limit should be created beyond which interference complaints would not be actionable.

These proposed changes are designed to provide greater certainty to full-power stations
regarding complaint requirements, limit contentious factual disputes and ensure prompt and consistent relief from actual translator interference.

1 Comment
  1. Jason B. says


    I remember WVLK-AM having a translator on 101.1, and was kicked off. They moved to 97.3. WLAP is now trying for 101.1. Wonder if that will get approved.

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