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FM Allotment Channel Finder

The first step in obtaining a license for a new FM station operating in the non-reserved or commercial band (92 MHz - 108 MHz) is the addition of a new allotment to the FM Table of Allotments, 47 C.F.R. § 73.202(b). An allotment serves as a place holder for a future FM station. The allotment consists of a community of license, a frequency or "channel," a station class, and the latitude and longitude coordinates of a theoretical station transmitter site. Interested parties initiate this process by simultaneously filing a petition for rulemaking to add an FM allotment and a Form 301 application for construction permit for the proposed station, and the applicable filing fees. More information on these procedures is available on the Media Bureau's Audio Division web site at http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/howtoapply.html

The Allotment Channel Finder is designed to help potential applicants identify available Class A allotments throughout the nation. As Class A is the smallest FM station class for commercial FM stations, a search for a Class A allotment will have the highest likelihood of success. Therefore, the Allotment Channel Finder searches only for potential Class A allotments. A search will provide information on two key technical issues that determine the acceptability of a petition for rule making:

  • Whether a channel is available at the proposed transmitter site; and
  • Whether a Class A station could place a premium strength (city-grade) 70 dBu signal over the community of license from the proposed transmitter site.
However, users should be aware that a successful search here does not guarantee the availability of a channel at the specified latitude and longitude coordinates.

The Allotment Channel Finder does NOT consider all factors that might render a potential allotment site unsuitable for allotment purposes: allotment locations in water, offshore allotment sites, environmentally restricted areas, parkland, land use regulations, etc. It is up to the applicant to evaluate such factors before submitting a proposal. The Allotment Channel Finder provides results based on data derived from the Media Bureau's Consolidated Database System (CDBS). The staff will update the Allotment Channel Finder database weekly. However, radio spectrum rights are established on a "first-come, first-served" basis. Thus, an application (or an amendment to a pending application), may be filed at any time and may "preclude" a new allotment proposal. Moreover, it can take up to two weeks for an electronically filed application to appear in CDBS. Protection rights, however, relate back to the initial filing date.

Finally, the Allotment Channel Finder search program makes reasonable assumptions about those applications, authorizations, and FM allotment rulemaking filings which a proposed allotment must protect. However, a careful review of all potentially relevant database records - a highly technical undertaking - is necessary to confirm that the allotment protects all records which are entitled to protection. Accordingly, the Bureau strongly recommends that an allotment proponent confirm with a broadcast consulting engineer the availability of an "available" channel prior to filing a petition for rule making to add an allotment to the FM Table of Vacant Allotments (Section 73.202 of the Commission's Rules).

Find reference coordinates for communities in the USA using the Atlas program. Copy down the reference coordinates, then return here and enter them below.

Enter NAD 27 Coordinates --- (degrees, minutes, seconds latitude and longitude)


GPS - determined coordinates are WGS84 / NAD83 and must be converted to NAD27 using NADCON.
Decimal degrees must be converted to Degrees Minutes Seconds before entry here. Treat West Longitude as positive for the Allotment Finder.

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If you would like more information pertaining to the Media Bureau, please call: (202) 418-7200.

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