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Statement of REC Networks: FM/AM Duplication Rule

Three weeks ago, when the Report and Order for MB Docket 19-310 went to circulation draft, we had a good decision.  The FCC was going to eliminate the duplication rule for AM radio but keep it for FM radio.  The duplication rule prohibits two commonly owned stations in the same service from duplicating more than 25% of programming in generally the same area.  

Aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias affected REC and Riverton: Limited Operations Resume on Wednesday

On Tuesday, August 4, the effect of 60 mile per hour gusts resulted in multiple trees falling on power lines causing a power outage at approximately 9:30AM EDT that affected the Riverton area, thus impacting operations at REC.  4 miles south of Riverton in Mardela Springs, a tornado touched down causing a home to be lifted off of its foundation.  In the course of 5 hours, the DASDEC-II EAS decoder at REC Networks picked up 23 tornado warnings, including 7 for Wicomico County where Riverton is located.

At approximately 10:45 PM on Tuesday, Delmarva Power has restored service to Riverton.

Pai: NCE and LPFM filing windows are coming

The FCC released a July 21, 2020 letter from Chairman Ajit Pai to New Mexico Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM-02) in reply to her inquiry on the future of filing windows for new LPFM stations.  In this letter, the Chairman stated that before there is an LPFM window, there will be a filing window for full-service NCE stations.  NCE stations have been waiting longer for a filing window (2007 for reserved band, 2010 for commercial-band vacant allotments) than LPFM has (2013).  

RM-11858: REC opposes proposal to turn translators into commercial LPFM stations without LCRA oversight, increase interference and circumvent rural radio protections

Map showing the 70, 60 and 45 dBu contours of WRTM-FM and the 60 and 70 dBu contours of two translators serving Jackson, Mississippi.

REC Networks has filed comments opposing RM-11858, the Petition for Rulemaking originated by “Broadcasters for Local Program Origination” (BLPO).  The BLPO petition called for FM translators to be able to reak off of their primary stations to provide separate programming for up to 128 hours per week, use special call signs with an “-FX” suffix, only be required to broadcast 40 hours of “translated” programming per week from the primary station and to allow commercial FM broadcast stations be permitted to extend commonly owned or financed translators outside of the primary station’s service contour (60/57/54 dBu) to 45 dBu.

FCC To Eliminate Anti-Duplication Rule for AM Stations

For the August 6, 2020 FCC Open Meeting, the FCC has released the draft circulation Order in MB Docket 19-310.   The FCC originally proposed to eliminate the anti-duplication rules for full-service FM and AM stations.   

Statement of REC Networks: 19-193 Petition for Reconsideration filed by LPFM Engineers & Commenters

Over the weekend prior to July 13, 2020, in response to the publication of the final rules from MB Docket 19-193 in the Federal Register, LPFM engineers Paul Bame and Todd Urick as well as representatives of various LPFM stations including Peter Gray of KFZR-LP, Makeda Dread Cheatom of KVIB-LP, Brad Johnson of KGIG-LP, David Stepanyuk  of KIEV-LP, and Andy Hansen-Smith of KCFZ-LP filed a 

Public Notice rule "officially" starts for LPFM on July 20.. but temporarily, under the "old rules".

On Friday, the FCC announced that the rule changes from MB Docket 17-264, which dealt with public notices was published in the Federal Register.  As most of the rule changes require changes to forms and/or information collection, they have been referred to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for their approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act and therefore, will not enacted until later this year. 

There will be no National EAS Test in 2020

Citing the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus public health emergency response, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has stated that they will not conduct a national test of the IPAWS system.  In their statement, FEMA noted:

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