NCE 2021 Filing Window: Opportunities for Alaska
In the majority of the villages of rural Alaska, there is a widespread availability of spectrum.
In the larger cities, opportunities may be limited or unavailable:
- Anchorage: No availability in Anchorage, Wasilla and Palmer. (See map below)
- Kenai Peninsula: There is availability in Seward.
- Fairbanks: Would involve the displacement of an LPFM station. REC will not file in Fairbanks unless the request comes from the affected LPFM station or unless arrangements are made by the LPFM station to change to a different channel.
- Juneau: There is at least one channel available.
- Sitka: Has availability.
- Ketchikan: Has availability.
Class D Stations
Alaska is the only state where Class D stations are available and they can be filed without waiting for a filing window. Class D stations can operate on any of the 100 channels. Class D stations are those with less than Class A minimum facilities (100 watts at 30 meters HAAT, 6 km service contour). There are currently 60 licensed or authorized Class D stations in the state of which, 33 are in the reserved band (88.1~91.9).
While Class D stations may be able to change channels in the event of displacement, REC is encouraging that applicants please keep the Class D stations clear in order to permit them to upgade their facilities to a primary class A station (even if it means increasing from 99 to 100 watts ERP).
REC can work with Class D stations in Alaska that desire to upgrade to a primary Class A facility in this window.
Anchorage Area Opportunity Map
Areas that are green shaded are not inside the relevant contours of any full-service NCE station and meets all other distance separation requirements.
About the green area
Within the green shaded area, there is at least one Reserved Band channel that is:
- Outside of the 40 dBu interfering contour of any co-channel Reserved Band station,
- Outside of the 54 dBu interfering contour of any first-adjacent channel Reserved Band station,
- Outside of the 60 dBu protected contour of any second or third-adjacent channel Reserved Band Station, and
- Meets the minimum distance separation required under §73.207 in respect to commercial FM stations on 92~108.
A green shaded area does not necessarily mean a channel is available
Instead, if the desired site is in the green shaded area, then you may wish to check the REC NCE Search for potential channels. You can verify your findings with REC or the consultant of your choice. It is important to remember that the channel still needs to be checked for availabilty based on actual contour overlap. It's also important to remember that in full-service radio, directional antennas are much more complicated and very directional antennas, like the ones used for FM translators may not be used. Antennas must give a specific minimum power (-15 dB) in all directions compared to the peak power of the station.
In other words, if you are looking in an area without any green shading, then a channel is not likely available.