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Lobby Seeks Freeze on Ch. 5 & 6 Applications

WASHINGTON: The Minority Media Telecommunications Council has asked the Federal Communications Commission not to accept applications specifying Channels 5 and 6 in the upcoming window for digital low-power television and television translators.

The request is similar to those made by groups including NPR, Educational Media Foundation, National Federation of Community Broadcasters, Brown Broadcast, Finger Lakes Public Radio, Prometheus Radio Project and the Catholic Radio Association.

The new filing window begins Jan. 25; a previous filing window began in August for rural digital low-power television and television translators. MMTC says in a letter to the commission that the August applications specifying Channels 5 and 6 shouldn’t be processed.

MMTC supports earlier requests made by the Broadcast Maximization Committee and reported by RW, calling for re-purposing Channels 5 and 6 for radio--extending the FM band to allow AMs to migrate to a better service band, as well as allow for more frequencies for NCEs and LPFMs.

"It is critical that the commission avoid accepting applications for new Channel 5 and 6 stations and delay processing the pending applications so as not to prejudice the commission's consideration of the various proposals that have been submitted for the use of this spectrum for FM broadcasting," writes MMTC Executive Director David Honig. -- from Radio World