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Warning about consultants offering help in sorting out your mutual-exclusivity with other applicants

As you probably know, your applications, including your names and contact information, are now a matter of public record. Anyone who knows where to look can call up your application on the FCCês website, just as you can. Legitimate and unscrupulous businesses alike will be contacting you with a variety of offers. If you are unsure about the validity of their claims, contact us or another media advocacy group!

Following is some good advice on this topic by Michael Brown, a broadcast engineer and media advocate, including a list of organizations to contact with your questions.

Advice to LPFM applicants

Many of you have been contacted by one or moreconsultants offering help in sorting out your mutual-exclusivity with other applicants, and/or offering a monthly LPFM newsletter for a fee. These consultants may help some applicants in this process. The newsletters may be very informative (although we haven't seen them yet). What we object to is when some of them use scare tactics.For example, one of these consultants has stated:

"...you must take action now if you want to preserve your opportunity to operate on that frequency...If you do nothing, you will not receive an FCC Construction Permit.

We believe that this statement is, at the very least, very misleading.Here are the facts, as we understand them at this time:

1. In most cases, it is a good idea to make early contact with other applicants who are mutually exclusive ("MX")to you, and with whom you are tied for the most points of all the MX applicants. Many of you already have done this, and have agreed in principal to share time.

2. There is noformal action that can, or needs to be taken right now, unless you have errors in your application that need to be corrected. Duringthe next several months, the FCC will issuelists of tied applicants for your filing window. They also will announce a deadline by which tied MX applicants can submit plans to voluntarily share the frequency (normally, 30 days after the Public Notice of the above). There is nothing that requires that you"must take action now".

3. If you cannot stomach sharing time with your tiedcompetitors, and all of your tied competitors feel the same way and do not agree to share time with any others, under most circumstances you all will be issued non-renewable consecutive licenses of 1 to 4 years each,addingup to eight years total.In other words, if you do absolutely nothing, you still might be issued an FCC Construction Permit. We definitely don't recommend this, however. Remember,the Rules say that these are non-renewable licenses.

Good websites to stay abreast of the situation include:

www.fcc.gov/mmb/asd/lpfm/
www.fcc.gov/mmb/prd/lpfm/ (not always updated very well)
www.microradio.org/
www.mediaaccess.org/programs/lpfm/
www.prometheus.tao.ca/
www.theradiosource.com/the_source_news_lpfm.htm
www.christiancommunityfm.com

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