Federal Communications Commission

AM Expanded Band Fact Sheet

April 18, 1997

  1. How do I apply for the expanded band construction permit?

    Only stations appearing on the March 17, 1997 Public Notice ("Public Notice") announcing a revised AM expanded band allotment plan may file applications for new commercial AM stations in the expanded band. Applicants must use FCC Form 301. The filing fee is $2740 and the filing code is "MUR". Consult the Mass Media Bureau Application Fee Filing Guide for details.

  2. Must I complete the entire FCC Form 301?

    No. Complete Sections I, V-A and VII only. See the Filing Instructions for AM Expanded Band Allotments for detailed instructions. If the expanded band facility requires the modification of your currently authorized facility, a separate modification application on FCC Form 301 also must be filed for the existing band station. This latter filing should cross-reference the expanded band station application.

  3. Will the Commission accept competing applications?

    No. Competing applications will not be accepted.

  4. Will the Commission accept petitions to deny?

    Yes. After the staff determines that an application is acceptable for filing it will be placed on a "B" cut-off list. This will start a 30-day period for the filing of petitions to deny.

  5. What are the community of license coverage requirements for expanded band stations?

    Daytime, the 5 mV/m contour must encompass the entire principal community to be served. Nighttime, 50% of the principal community must be encompassed by the 5 mV/m or the nighttime interference-free contour, whichever value is higher.

  6. May I use a site for the expanded band station other than the site at the coordinates listed in the Public Notice?

    Yes. You may choose any site within 20 kilometers of the allotment coordinates specified in the Public Notice (Attachment A) provided that community coverage is achieved. The coordinates listed in the Public Notice correspond to the station's license or construction permit as of June, 1993. Proposals to locate at distances greater than 20 kilometers from the allotment coordinates will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and will be subject to the co-, first, and second adjacent channel distance separation requirements for expanded band stations, i.e., 800, 200, and 53 kilometers, respectively. Expanded band stations must satisfy community coverage requirements of 100% coverage daytime and 50% coverage nighttime.

  7. What are Model I facilities?

    Model I facilities are defined in 47 C.F.R. Section 73.14 of the rules as a station broadcasting in stereo in the expanded band which operates with a power of 10 kW daytime, 1 kW nighttime using a non-directional or simple direction antenna system. See 47 C.F.R. Section 73.14.

  8. Must I apply for Model I technical facilities?


  9. Must my tower be 90 electrical degrees tall?

    No. The radiator can be taller or shorter than 90 electrical degrees. If the station is located in the border area, it may be necessary to reduce antenna input power to the level which achieves the equivalent fields as produced by a 90 degree radiator. If a tower shorter than 90 electrical degrees is proposed, it must be capable of producing the minimum field strength for a Class "B" station of 282 mV/m/kW at 1 km.

  10. Can I use a directional antenna system?

    Probably not. The revised allotment plan is based on fully spaced Model I non-directional facilities. Accordingly, directional antenna systems will not be necessary to offset "marginal" short-spacings. See Review of the Technical Assignment Criteria for the AM Broadcast Service, 6 FCC Rcd 6273, 6305 (1991) ("Report and Order"). However, the Report and Order recognized that it might be advantageous to permit directional antennas in coastal areas. Thus, the Commission has provided the staff with limited flexibility in this area. However, absent extraordinary circumstances, non-directional antenna systems will be required.

  11. Based on a review of the overall allotment plan, it appears that I can operate at substantially higher power than Model I maximums without causing interference to either existing or expanded band stations. May I propose power levels greater than 10 kW daytime/1 kW nighttime?

    No. The Commission will consider opportunities for additional expanded band assignments one year after the allotment plan becomes final.

  12. Can I use one of my existing tower(s) for expanded band operation without modifying my present facilities?

    Yes. The technical parameters of the existing station will not change if one of the existing towers is also used for the expanded band transmissions. It will be necessary to diplex the two signals. This will necessitate the use of filters in the power feed line to each transmitter to prevent radio frequency energy on one frequency from flowing back into the other transmitter and possibly creating intermodulation interference.

  13. Will failure to file my application cause my allotment to be deleted?

    Yes. In the Report and Order, 6 FCC Rcd at 6313, the Commission stated that it would delete expanded band allotments where neither an authorization has been issued nor an application is pending one year after the initial allotment plan has become final.

  14. Under what circumstances can I get an extension of time to file for the allotment?

    47 C.F.R. Section 73.30(c) states that a petitioner awarded an allotment will have sixty (60) days from the date the public notice of selection to file an application for construction permit. The Memorandum Opinion and Order that was released simultaneously with the revised expanded band allotment plan extended the filing period to ninety days. A waiver of this requirement would require a traditional "good cause" showing. See 47 C.F.R. Section 1.3.

  15. Must I comply with the publication requirements of 47 C.F.R. Section 73.3580?

    Yes. Applicants must comply with all "new station" publication requirements.

  16. I am currently at the local radio ownership cap. Will I need to divest or obtain a waiver prior to obtaining an expanded band station license?

    No. Expanded band stations are not counted for multiple ownership purposes.

  17. Must I continue to operate my existing band frequency?

    No. Once your expanded band facility is built and licensed, you may surrender your existing band license for cancellation.

  18. Can I program the expanded band facility separately?

    Yes. There are no Commission rules which either prohibit or require separate programming of the existing band and expanded band stations.

  19. Can my existing band and expanded band stations use the same call sign?

    No. Expanded band and existing band stations must have different calls. A licensee may, of course, transfer the existing band station's call to the expanded band station. Applicants should leave the "Call Letter" box (Section 1, Question 1) and "Call Sign question (Section V-A, Question 1) blank on Form 301.

  20. Once my expanded band facility is built, may I surrender in my existing band license and then apply to use my old existing band frequency?

    Yes. An expanded band licensee may surrender its existing band license for cancellation once the expanded band station is licensed. The new station application specifying the "old" existing band frequency must satisfy current existing band allocations criteria. The FCC Form 301 application would be subject to competing applications and petitions to deny.

  21. I understand that the expanded band license will be for a five year term. Will my existing band license expire automatically at the end of this license period?

    No. Five years after the issuance of an expanded band construction permit, one of the two authorizations must be surrendered. The choice is solely at the licensee's discretion.

Filing Instructions for AM Expanded Band Allotments
March 17, 1997 Expanded Band Public Notice
March 17, 1997 MO&O, Docket 87-267, Expanded AM Band Allotments

Questions on the AM Expanded Band application procedures and policies should be directed to Peter Doyle at (202)- 418-2700.