Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New expanded-band station?

The FCC is opening a filing window for a new expanded-band station on 1700KHz in Rockland Co., New York.

During the recent filing window for major changes, WRCR, Spring Valley, New York filed an application to move from 1300KHz to 1700. The station claims it's precluded from upgrading on its current frequency by other stations on 1300. It also claims that improved coverage (especially at night) is necessary to provide emergency information to people living in the evacuation zone of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. Commission staff initially denied WRCR's application; the major change window specifically stated expanded-band applications would not be accepted, and denied WRCR's petition for a waiver of that freeze.

The full Commission has reversed the staff decision, and agreed to consider applications for a new expanded-band station on 1700KHz. However, they decided it would be unfair to simply grant the frequency to WRCR. Instead, a filing window will be opened. If more than one mutually-exclusive application is received (almost certain, IMHO) then an auction will be held to award the permit.

Applicants must:

  • Specify a city-of-license located in Rockland Co., New York.

  • Provide a 2mv/m daytime and interference-free nighttime signal across at least 50% of the Indian Point Emergency Planning Zone. (a 10mi. radius around the nuclear plant)

  • Agree to participate fully in EAS, carrying all state and local alerts. (most stations are only required to carry the EAN and EAT national alerts)

  • Adhere to expanded-band technical rules. (presumably the station will be 10,000/1,000 watts non-directional)

  • This proposal is possible only because WGIN-930 in New Hampshire never filed to use the 1700KHz expanded-band channel assigned to them in the original expanded-band allotments.

    It will be interesting to see if this decision spurs any other similar applications...

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