RM-11331: REC Files Comments - Opposes Petition
Citing commercial influence and other factors, REC Networks has filed comments with the FCC in the petition by an incumbent broadcaster to allow FM translators to originate local programming. In the petition, Miller Communications, a multiple owner of full power broadcast stations is seeking changes in the FCC rules to allow a FM translator to originate programming such as city council meetings and local sports (originating from within 25 miles).
REC challenges the true intentions of Miller Communications in this petition considering that Miller already has a translator (purchased from a non-commercial organization). REC is concerned that this petition is just a back door method for an incumbent full power organization to get another signal in the same area. REC feels that the public service that one of these translators could generate will take a back-seat to the commercial bottom line of the station.
In comments, REC had stated that a channel is available for LP-100 stations in Taylorville, IL and that if a group wants to provide such programming, they can file in an upcoming LPFM window.
While REC opposes the petition, it left the door open with the Commission to consider translators being able to air up to 8 minutes of local programming per hour (including commercials) and after the Radio Broadcast Protection Act is repealed, allow translators to convert to LPFM with the existing ownership and non-commercial rules.
REC Networks feels that a community based local commercial broadcast service is possible but it will take major reform at the FCC to restructure the Table of Allotments rules, restructure the Tuck Analysis and create a new "community" class of commercial broadcast station.