FCC Keeps Low-power Violations in Its Sights

Florida LPFM says it is addressing technical compliance issues
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The Federal Communications Commission is keeping its eye on violations of all kinds, even when it comes to low-power broadcasters.

In Hallandale, Fla., agents from its Miami office issued a violation to The Truth Will Set You Free, licensee of LPFM station WEXI, run by evangelist Vic Batista.

In response to a complaint, agents said they investigated the station’s facility and found it was allegedly operating from an antenna structure more than four miles from its authorized location, using an antenna height that was taller than was authorized, and operating with a transmitter output power that exceeded its authorization.

According to the FCC, WEXI is authorized to operate on 102.3 MHz from coordinates 25° 58’ 45” N latitude and 80° 07’ 09” W longitude, with an antenna height of 72 meters and a transmitter output power (TPO) of 23 watts.

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The agents found that the station was allegedly operating with an antenna height of 81.1 meters and a TPO of 162 watts. The bureau also said that WEXI previously had been found to be operating with a much higher TPO — 1,910 watts.

The FCC said the licensee would have to submit a written statement within 20 days with explanations. It must explain each violation, provide a statement of the specific actions it plans to take to correct each and include a timeline for completing the corrections.

The station subsequently filed for special temporary authority to go silent. "WEXI-LP has temporarily ceased operations while licensee addresses technical compliance issues raised by commission staff," it wrote in the STA application.

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