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Petition for Reconsideration Would Afford Permittees with Unbuilt Construction Permits Additional Time to Build
As we explained previously, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted last October to eliminate its main studio rule, which had required each radio and television station to maintain a main studio located in or near its community of license. For some broadcasters, the elimination of the main studio rule may have created new opportunities to build out construction permits when doing so would not previously have been economically feasible. And in some cases, such construction permits may be close to expiring.
One broadcaster that found itself in this situation has filed a Petition for Partial Reconsideration of the order eliminating the main studio rule. The Petition asks the FCC to modify its order to provide that any permittee with an unbuilt construction permit for new facilities with less than six months left in its construction period will be afforded an additional six months to construct. Under the proposal, permits expiring within six months of the effective date of elimination of the main studio rule—which was January 8, 2018—would be eligible for this automatic extension.
Oppositions to the Petition are due on March 13, 2018 and replies to oppositions are due on March 23, 2018. Informal comments may also be filed by parties wishing to support the Petition, and should be submitted on or prior to the opposition deadline. If you are interested in weighing in, please contact us.