In his latest blog post, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, following up on his NAB Las Vegas speech, announced that on May 9th the agency will be doing more to help AM Broadcasters survive. It’s on that day, at the Commission’s next meeting that a vote will be taken to streamline and expedite the Commission’s current process for resolving FM interference complaints due to the massive number of FM translators the FCC has approved in recent years.
The FCC has granted AM stations 1,707 construction permits for new FM translators, and almost five hundred of these translators are already on the air. Pai says the translators are helping AM broadcasters attract more listeners and advertisers. However, they have also lead to interference complaints from existing FM stations. And, the FCC has been, to this point, and like most government agencies, slow to address those issues.
Pai says the order being voted on May 9 would establish simpler interference remediation procedures, clarify listener complaint requirements, and make it easier for translators causing interference to change channels.