WASHINGTON, DC—The FCC is planning to open a filing window for new FM NCE (non-commercial educational service) radio stations in 2021 and for new LPFM stations thereafter. 

Womble Bond Dickinson telecom attorney John Garziglia discussed the possibilities for new FM NCE radio stations with Radio World. A new NCE filing window may open as soon as early 2021. This would allow non-profit organizations, schools, religious organizations and Native American tribes to apply for new signals in the NCE FM reserved band, 88.1–91.9 MHz. When the FCC moves forward, it will be the first window to open for new FM NCE station applications since 2010.

Garziglia said he expects most of the stations to be awarded outside of major urban markets.

“The FM band in most areas of the country is already incredibly crowded. It is unlikely that applicants will find either full-power NCE or LPFM opportunities in most non-rural areas. In rural areas, there will be significant availabilities for both new NCE and LPFM stations,” Garziglia said.

He also said the FCC will be well-served to complete NCE application processing before opening the LPFM filing window in order to avoid confusion and problems.

Click here to read, “NCE Filing Window Likely in Early 2021” in Radio World

John Garziglia represents radio and television broadcasters, offering personalized assistance in all areas of communications and telecommunications law including transactional and contract negotiations for broadcast station mergers and acquisitions, the securing of financing, governmental auctions of new frequencies, license renewals, new stations applications, facility changes, facility upgrades, licensing, and compliance with FCC rules, regulations and policies