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FCC Opens Comment Window for FM Petition

Small market station owner says change would make short-spaced FM upgrades easier

The FCC is now taking public comments on a petition that station owner Matt Wesolowski says would make it easier for short-spaced commercial FMs to upgrade their facilities.

Wesolowski owns a small-market Class A FM station. WYAB in Flora, Miss., serves the Jackson market.

In his petition, Wesolowski asked the FCC eliminate its hypothetical allotment site requirement for commercial FMs.

He notes that when low-power FM stations, FM translators, FM boosters, noncom FMs, AM radio and television file applications for proposed stations, these licensees need only demonstrate that a facility’s transmitter and antenna location(s) do not interfere with the signal contours of neighboring stations.

However, in the commercial FM world, licensees also must provide a second, hypothetical FM allotment site to the FCC before a minor modification application may be granted.

“This second, hypothetical allotment site is often located quite far from the intended antenna location, and is afforded no protection in the FCC’s FM database against competing applications,” he stated in his petition for rulemaking.

Damon Collins, owner of a construction permit for WLYB(FM), Livingston Ala.,supports the idea. He says he can’t upgrade to a full Class A 6 kW.

“The protected station is 160 miles from us. We are short 2.1 miles with the current rules to be a full Class A. If this rulemaking is considered it would help several rural stations like us,” he told Radio World.

Comments are due on RM-11643 within 30 days.

This Process Has No Purpose” (letter)

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