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Puerto Rico LPFM Booster Application Dismissed

No showing that booster would remain in primary station’s 60 dBu contour

A booster application for a low-power FM station in Puerto Rico was recently dismissed by the FCC because the 60 dBu contour of the proposed booster did not remain wholly inside the 1 mV/m contour of the primary station.

This was the fifth application for a booster for an LPFM. The second and third applications were filed by consultancy REC Networks on behalf of two LPFM stations in California. Following a two-year wait on one, and a one-year wait for the other, both were granted at the same time, according to REC Networks. The others were dismissed, according to REC, which described the situation in a blog post.

Michelle Bradley, founder of REC Networks, which is active in the LPFM sphere, reflected on the booster application process: “Because the only two booster applications that have been granted were the two test cases, it’s hard to know yet whether the FCC will handle LPFM booster applications on a routine basis or with a requirement to handle waivers from an ownership perspective as well as from a technical perspective, since this arrangement is not currently codified in the rules. For this reason, I am asking that all booster requests by LPFM stations be channeled through REC, which I will prepare and file at no charge because I want to see consistency in the applications as there are several things that I look at prior to accepting a proposal. The Puerto Rico booster would have never been filed by REC in accordance to those guidelines.”

She said that if boosters for LPFM stations become as routine as boosters for full-service stations, these applications will be treated as original construction permit applications that are subject to a 30-day petition to deny period.