One of the more interesting changes proposed by the Minority Media Telecommunications Council in its recent submittal to the FCC is for the commission to conduct tutorials on radio engineering rules at its headquarters and at industry conferences. It also proposed the commission create an engineering position specifically to help small business and nonprofits with routine engineering matters.
The idea is that the RF rules have become more complex over time and smaller broadcasters have a harder time keeping up with those changes. MMTC suggested the FCC hold technical tutorials at conferences of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters and MMTC’s own Access to Capital and Telecom Policy Conference.
The so-called "Broadcast Public Engineer" would prepare routine technical exhibits for small businesses and nonprofits, doing what can be done with available software without field testing, and set up an engineering hotline. MMTC suggests this person also develop user guides to explain how to complete the engineering portions of FCC applications that are more detailed than current instructions.
The commission may already be thinking this way. As I reported in the Oct. 21 issue of RW, at a session at the NAB Radio Show Media Bureau Chief Peter Doyle said that something like a third of the initial 1,300 LPFM construction permits had lapsed and some coaching might have helped those applicants.