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FCC Eases Rules for Hurricane-Affected Stations

FCC Eases Rules for Hurricane-Affected Stations

The FCC’s Media Bureau has suspended some rules to provide relief to broadcasters, allowing them to operate and restore communications as needed in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.
The agency said it would speed up processing requests for station mods or temporary facilities such as STAs.
Requests for emergency operation must be coordinated with local frequency coordinators. State and local emergency and public safety services must still be protected from interference.
The commission presumes broadcasters are airing emergency information.
Emergency, temporary antennas may be built without prior authority. AMs can use a horizontal or vertical wire or a non-directional vertical element of a directional antenna as an emergency antenna. Licensees affected by the hurricane do not need to notify the FCC within 24 hours that they are using these antennas.
AM stations can use their full daytime power during nighttime hours to broadcast emergency information, provided operation is conducted on a noncommercial basis.
For limited and discontinued operations, the agency waives the rule about a notification time period and will accept notifications within 30 days and requests to remain silent within 60 days after operations have stopped.
Regarding CP deadlines, permittees of stations within a Federal Disaster Area who make a request get an extra 90 days to complete construction.