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The Government Shutdown is Over & The Low Power FM Filing Window is OPEN
UPDATE: 10/18/2013 5:40pm EST : Prometheus has just received confirmed reports from the FCC that: "the deadline for filing Form 318 applications for new Low Power FM stations will be extended from October 29, 2013 until November 14, 2013 6:00pm EST." The FCC will also reschedule a webinar that had been cancelled during the shutdown for October 24, 2013. More information on this webinar (and others that Prometheus has planned) will be released as we have confirmed registration links.
10/18/13: While there have been many reports this afternoon of a proposed deadline for the Low Power FM application window, we are awaiting official confirmation from our contacts at the FCC before making any official announcements. Please stayed tuned for more information!
The government is back in business, and as of this morning, the LPFM filing window is open on the FCC's Consolidated Database System (CDBS) website. Applicants can now submit their LPFM applications. We suspect the FCC will take steps in the coming days to redress the obstacles faced by LPFM applicants during the shutdown. The FCC had previously stated the original window would be open until October 29. No announcement has yet been made as to when the window will close, but as the situation evolves, we will keep you posted.
Prometheus' RFree software, which allows LPFM applicants to search for available frequencies in their area, is operating at full capacity. Please contact support [at] prometheusradio.org with any questions.
10/05/13: Radio Survivor posted a great recap of the collective efforts of the LPFM community in response to the government shutdow. Prometheus will continue to work with our allies in the field to advocate for a fair application window.
10/04/13: Advice from our Applicant Support Team to all LPFM applicants - Don't let the shutdown detail your planning and preparation!
The best way to continue working on your application is with our Application Guide. It walks you through each step of Form 318. You compile all of your documents, and write down all of you answers now, and when the FCC's website is back online, you can plug in all of you answers. Stay tunes to Prometheus and the Get Radio! Newsletter so you'll be up to speed on all the happenings with the FCC.
10/01/13: On Tuesday, October 1st, due to our elected officials' inability to pass a government funding bill, the federal government entered a partial shutdown, halting all "nonessential" functions and services. Among those agencies affected is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is the regulator for all things radio. Until Congress passes and the President signs a funding bill, all "FCC activities other than those immediately necessary for the protection of life or property will cease."
As of today, that means all but a few dozen FCC employees have been sent home and the FCC's online systems have been taken down. This includes the FCC's Consolidated Database System (CDBS), which hosts the LPFM online form through which all LPFM applicants must apply. The shutdown has also temporarily limited certain functions of Prometheus's in-house LPFM technical support software, RFree. However, we expect RFree to be back at 100 percent within a few days.
The FCC has not stated officially whether they expect the LPFM filing window to continue as planned - opening on October 15th and closing on October 29th. While it is uncertain whether the window can move forward during a government shutdown, we at Prometheus will assume no changes to the window unless the FCC officially says otherwise. All our operations will continue as planned. Our team will continue to support applicants with the intention of submitting final LPFM applications to the FCC no later than October 29th.
Meanwhile, we will press the FCC leadership to make fair accommodations to those applicants who may require additional time due to the effects of the shutdown. As the situation in Washington evolves, we will keep you informed and prepared so that you all have the opportunity to submit successful LPFM applications without additional stress or uncertainty.