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LPFM Antenna Mistake Not Minor, FCC Says

LPFM Antenna Mistake Not Minor, FCC Says

LPFMs have to follow the rules like other stations; and if they don’t they can get hit in the pocketbook.
The FCC upheld a $3,000 fine against Power Radio Corp., licensee of low-power station KXPW in Georgetown, Texas.
The station didn’t file for a license modification within 10 days of replacing its authorized antenna, according to the commission.
Power Radio admitted it replaced its authorized three-bay antenna with a four-bay without filing FCC Form 319. Commission rules state an LPFM may replace its antenna without prior FCC authorization provided the height of the antenna’s radiation center is not more than 2 meters above or 4 meters below the authorized values. The station must file a Form 319 within 10 days of installation.
Power Radio told the FCC it didn’t know it needed to file the form because of a misunderstanding with its engineering consultant and said it is a new LP operator with decreasing revenues and can’t pay the fine.
The station did file the form two months later, and told the FCC the violation was excessive given the insignificance of the violation.
The commission disagreed and stated in its decision: “It is not a minor violation when considering the potential impact on public safety if LPFM modifications do not comply with the commission’s radiofrequency radiation guidelines.”
The agency said the station filed the form after a complaint was registered and the FCC began its investigation and therefore, the fine would not be reduced or rescinded.
Just as it does with commercial operators, the commission said ignorance of the rules does not let a station off the hook and Power Radio has 30 days to pay.