RM-11749: FCC taking comments on REC's LP-250 proposal

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a Public Notice announcing a rulemaking number for REC's LP-250 proposal.  Comments are now being accepted between now and June 15, 2015.  

Comments can be filed through the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System or through their simplified ECFS Express system. 

Items proposed in RM-11749 include:

  • The ability for existing LPFM stations to upgrade LP-250 based on technical availability without geographic restrictions such as those proposed in previous versions of LP-250.
  • Allowing minor moves up to 11.1 km for LP-100 stations and up to 14.1 km for LP-250 stations. 
  • Removing the contour overlap requirement for LPFM commonly-owned FM translators.
  • Add additional protections for LPFM stations in respect to FM translators.
  • Relief for the local programming requirement for LPFM stations on time share agreements.

For more information on LP-250 and the actual LP-250 proposal, visit http://LP250.com

REC Radio History Project completes Dallas-Fort Worth - Next stop: Houston

Dallas skylineThe REC Radio History Project has completed the latest FCC History Card compilation.  This time, 32 stations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and in surrounding rural communities have been archived back with basic engineering and ownership data which in some cases, dates back to the early 1920s.  

From the first days of radio until the late-1970s before the advent of computers, the Federal Communications Commission and its predecessor the Federal Radio Commission kept basic licensing records on 3x5 index cards similar to an old card catalog in a library.  As a part of the FCC's move to their current facility in the late 1990s, the cards were transferred to microfilm and subsequently destroyed.  Over the past few years, the FCC has made some of these microfilm records available to the general public.  Currently, only AM records are available and those are limited to "K" call letters as well as some "W" calls (WA through WF and some WG).  This is a project that is on an "time available" basis and with the latest cuts at the FCC, we are not sure how this will impact their conversion of the microfilm to public access.  

Statement of REC Networks' Michelle Bradley

My experience and ability to file a Petition for Rulemaking has come into question by someone who claims to be an LPFM advocate and runs an "advocacy group".  Specifically, it is alleged that due to the fact that I do not own or operate an LPFM station makes me unqualified to speak about and for LPFM.  As the pages of stories and media releases at  recnet.com and the many media stories in trade publications over the years will demonstrate, my experience with LPFM and the grassroots movement that lead to the creation of the service has been an extensive part of my life for nearly two decades.

If anything, my position in the LPFM community has permitted me to interact with LPFM stations of all types in order to gather the issues that effect a diverse mix of stations spanning all cultures, worldviews and faiths.  This position also allows me to be able to focus on LPFM regulation and issues at the highest levels.  My judgment is not clouded by the needs of only one of the 2000+ LPFM stations that have been authorized nor is my dedication to the LPFM service as a whole competing with the by the day to day duties of running a station. 

Mr. Solomon and I both share a passion for LPFM and we both want to see it succeed.  However, we see things differently.  My nearly two decades of experience interacting with the FCC, Congress, allied advocates, attorneys and LPFM station representatives nationwide has given me this unique ability to understand the regulatory process, station needs and has earned me the respect from LPFM stations and media advocates, nationwide.  This two-decade experience speaks much louder than an individual owner of a single station that has been licensed for less than one year.  

Respect is something that is earned over time.  It is not automaticlaly earned overnight with a piece of paper from the FCC.


REC files petition to improve LPFM coverage

RIVERTON, MD (APRIL 20, 2015) --- A project that was over two years in the making, REC Networks has filed a Petition for Rulemaking intended to help LPFM stations enhance their signal within their current three mile service area as well as reach out to more rural areas.

In today's filing, REC is asking the Federal Communications Commission to allow 50 to 75 percent of currently authorized LPFM stations to increase their effective radiated power from 100 watts (based on 30 meters height above average terrain) to 250 watts increasing the average protected service contour from 3½ miles to about a 4½ mile radius.  Unlike the previous proposals filed by The Amherst Alliance and the Catholic Radio Association which focused on rural expansion and was tabled by the FCC due to disagreement in the community, the REC petition focuses first on enhancing the listener experience within the "three mile zone", the prime area that current LP-100 stations serve.  Many LPFM stations are experiencing issues with building penetration and other issues within the three mile zone.

REC Networks response to Chairman Wheeler's blog about AM

In response to the blog written by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler about AM revitalization, REC does agree that there needs to be an improvement in the AM service. This can be done in several ways:

  • First and most importantly, re-purpose AM as a regional broadcasting service giving priority to the Class A and B stations and restoring the pre-1980 sanctity of the clear channel.  Class C stations should be given an opportunity, perhaps on an auction basis to upgrade to the extended band to allow them to operate 10 kW daytime and 1 kW at night.  
  • Class D stations should be removed from AM altogether and placed in new spectrum between 76 and 88 MHz.
  • FM translators for AM stations should only be an interim solution and in no case should a Class A or B AM station be permitted to operate a translator. 
  • FM translators should be made available for LPFM stations and they should be able to be moved as a minor change without regard for contour overlap between the old and new locations.
  • The FCC needs to create and enforce stronger Part 15 regulations that no only protect AM spectrum but also the high frequency (3-30 MHz) bands from unnecessary interference.  REC is deeply concerned that our existing Part 15 rules will not be enforced with the closing of field offices.