REC proposes LPFM protections - updates LPFM Tool

The REC LPFM Channel Search Tool has been upgraded with some new functionality. This new functionality placed in the system as a result of the FCC's latest Notice for Proposed Rulemaking allows you to perform various scenarios in relation to protection to translators. Feel free to give it a try.

There is button the search tool that allows you to automatically select all of the parameters that are being considered by REC in comments in 99-25. Under REC's current proposal, we are looking at the following changes:
Protection of "Legacy" Translators - REC supports the retention of protection to 3,000 translators that were improved before the Great Translator Invasion. A "Legacy" translator is one that was originally applied prior to the March 2003 Trasnlator Invasion window and has been granted a Construction Permit for the facility in question.
New Translator Protection Criteria - REC is again moving forward it's original concept of expanding the number of "sub-classes" that a FM translator can fall into (based on service contour size) from 3 to 8. The new definitions better represent the service area of the translator and moves closer to a "prohibited overlap" model while staying compliant with the Radio Broadcast Protection Act.
Distant Translators - REC proposes to make distant translators secondary to LPFM stations. Distant translators are those where the ultimate primary station is in a different state and at least 400 km away.
Exclusion of IF Channel Protection - REC feels that LPFM stations that operate 100 watts or less enjoy the same exclusion of not being required to protect a full power or translator's IF channels (+/- 10.6 and 10.8 MHz). LPFMs would still be required to protect the IF of foreign broadcast stations.
LPTV Channel 6 Protection - REC has proposed a new method of protecting LPTV, TV Translator and Class A stations operating on Channel 6. The FCC requires LPFM stations to protect these stations at full facilities. REC has discovered that out of about 200 stations less than 10% operate with anywhere near full facilities.

We hope these changes will be accepted by the LPFM Community as well as the FCC as a way to bring more LPFM stations on the air.

We are currently in the process of running a new ENAC (Every Nook And Cranny) report. This is a special mapping program we run to determine the availability of LPFM in virtually every speck of the United States. Just to give you an idea, here's an ENAC map for Arizona:

The green area are places where LPFM is not available today but could be made available if the Commission accepts our protection criteria. The yellow area are additional locations that would open up if the Radio Broadcast Protection Act is repealed and third adjacent channel restrictions can be eliminated. The areas in red are places that even with REC's proposed criteria and the elimination of third adjacent channel, LPFM would not be available. We noticed something very interesting here. For those who know Arizona, look where the red spots are. They are not in the metro areas like you would suspect. Instead, they are between metro and other FM station intensive areas. Notice the big red zone between Phoenix and Tucson? This is being caused by all of the first and second adjacent channels from both the Phoenix and Tucson markets clashing in the middle and foreclosing opportunities in these areas. Of course, we will need to also look at additional spectrum (below 88 and/or LPAM) to address these issues.

REC will publish the full ENAC map when we publish our 99-25 comments. The NPRM has not been published in the Federal Register yet therefore I do now know when the comment deadline is. Please read the NPRM and think out your comments well. Let's hope for the best!