Strategic Technical Planning for Broadcasters


Skywaves formally objects to the new FCC FM translator interference rule
Over 850 applications were filed in the January window for AM stations to file applications for new FM translators.
Effective date April 10, 2017.
2016 window translators may be moved again.
LED tower lights can save money on power, but many are invisible to the Night Vision Goggles used by the Coast Guard, civilian operators like Medevac helicopters, and the military.
Save some birds, save a little money - but only if your tower is at least 450' tall.
In its Rural Radio proceeding (MB Docket 09-52), the FCC placed new limitations on community changes. A recent release clarifies some of this.
Want to change your station's community in order to do an upgrade? You must read this.
Many FM broadcasters may benefit from the ongoing downgrades of under-height Class C stations.
With the digital conversion of broadcast television, many stations in the NCE reserved band below 92 MHz may upgrade their facilities.
New power to visualize FM upgrade potential.
The FCC now allows two-step minor-change upgrades and relocations.

Greater Flexibility for Full-Service FM Upgrades

November 29, 2006
The FCC now allows two-step minor-change upgrades and relocations.

You may now change a full-power FM station to a non-mutually-exclusive channel as a minor change.  Many restrictions apply.

In Docket 05-210, released 11/29/2006, a little-noticed provision allows full-power FM stations much greater freedom to change frequencies than was previously allowed.

Under the old rule, an FM station could change only to a mutually exclusive (MX) channel. The MX channels are +/- 1, 2, 3, 53, and 54 channels.  No station has all of these options. For example, a station at the top of the band on channel 300 (107.9) only has -1, -2, -3, -53, and -54 channels as MX options.  If the change involved a relocation, the new facility had to be at a distance from the existing facility that would be prohibited under the Commission's Rules.  Distance requirements vary with the classes of the current and proposed facilities and the channels involved. This rule still is available.

The new twist is that if the station's Class and Principal Community remain the same, you can move to any available channel, not only the MX channels.

This means that you now have the freedom to perform multiple-step upgrades.  

For example, you own a Class A station on channel 227 in Yourtown. You wish to change channels to 289, upgrade it to Class C2, and license it to Mytown.

There was no way under the old MX rule to do this as a minor change.

Under the new rule, you can change your station to channel 289 in Yourtown, and then apply under the old rule to move it to Mytown as a C3.  Both modifications are minor changes.

Note: The above explanation is a much simplified scenario. Each case is unique, and each case must be studied thoroughly.

Please contact us for an assessment of your stations.

Skywaves Consulting LLC
PO Box 4
Millbury, MA 01527-0004
(401) 354-2400

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