WASHINGTON, D.C.—More power for radio signals is a good thing for the broadcast industry, right? Not necessarily. In a new Radio Ink column, Womble Bond Dickinson telecom lawyer John Garziglia writes that the FCC's proposed Class C4 FM classification could harm some AM stations.
The Class C4 classification would double the power of current Class A FM stations from six kilowatts to 12. Garziglia said boosting the power of some FM signals may have made sense at one point. But now, with many AM broadcasters using FM translators, Class C4 could be detrimental to those stations and the listeners they serve.
"The adoption of the Class C4 proposal, by expanding signal contours and impinging upon FM translator service areas, will jeopardize the continuing existence of many FM translators," Garziglia writes in Radio Ink.
With that in mind, Garziglia encourages the FCC to adopt the following protections:
- Any translator displacement should only be with the assent of the translator licensee, and the FCC should allow the translator to move to any other channel on the FM band of the translator's choosing, consistent with FCC rules.
- The FCC's rules should be amended to limit any interference complaint only to a complaint arising within the first year of the translator's or existing station's operations with current facilities, and only within the existing station's protected contour, without respect to whether interference arises for a Class C4 station or for any other FM station.
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.
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