Information for LPFM stations on a second adjacent channel waiver STA
The Order has been published in the Federal Register on January 9, 2013. This means that the rules will take effect on March 11, 2013 with Second Adjacent Waiver showings due before April 8, 2013.
In our comments to the FCC on the implementation of the second adjacent channel waiver for LPFM stations, we inquiried about the current LPFM stations who have been granted a second adjacent channel waiver under special temporary authority (STA). We were concerned about how the LCRA, which has a much more stringent definition of interference than the definition used when the FCC granted your station's STA. We wanted to see if the existing LPFM stations would be grandparented in.
In the recent Report and Order, the FCC addressed our concerns for your stations. The following text can be found in footnote #132:
There are a small number of LPFM stations operating pursuant to special temporary authority (“STA”) granted under the interim waiver processing standard. REC urges us to grandfather the operations of these stations. [...] We believe that the following alternative approach is more consistent with the requirements of the LCRA. Should one of these stations wish to continue to operate at a variance from the second-adjacent channel spacing requirements, within 30 days following the effective date of the rule implementing the second-adjacent waiver policy set forth in the LCRA and herein, the station may amend its pending application for a construction permit to operate with the facilities specified in its STA and attach an exhibit that demonstrates that its operations will not result in any interference to any authorized radio service. We note that such a station’s history of operating at a variance from the second-adjacent channel spacing requirements without any complaints of interference would be a relevant factor in determining whether that station’s operations will result in any interference to any authorized radio service. We are revising the Application for Construction Permit for a Low Power FM Broadcast Station (FCC Form 318) to specifically provide for exhibits associated with second adjacent waiver requests.
What should my station do?
The FCC feels that second adjacent channel waiver requests can be done without the need for an engineer. We feel that some simple situations could possibly be done yourself but overall, we strongly suggest obtaining an engineer who can determine the size of your overlap area, the presence of "potential listeners" within your overlap zone or whether your overlap zone is so small that interference may not even reach the ground. REC feels that any attempt to do a second adjacent waiver that involves a directional antenna and/or reduced power should be done so through an engineer.
You may view your estimated overlap zone online:
- Visit the REC Broadcast Query Tool - http://cdbs.recnet.com/fmq.php
- Find the record for your LPFM station in the Broadcast Query Tool.
- Look for your second adjacent channel waiver facility, most likely it is an application that begins with BMPL and may be considered as "Accepted for Filing".
- Within that record, click on the link Second Adjacent Overlap Zone.
- A new window will open with a second adjacent channel query in myLPFM.com
- The upper map shows the service contours of the impacted second adjacent channel stations.
- The lower map shows a circle around your overlap zone.
- On the lower map, click on "Satellite".
- Use the plus [+] icon to zoom in to look for buildings and 4-lane highways where potential listeners could be.
Within 30 days after the rules become into effect, you must amend your Construction Permit application to include a showing that there are no potential listeners in your overlap area and therefore does not cause any interference. REC supports the FCC's advice that existing STA stations should include a statement stating that the LPFM station has been operating on a second adjacent channel without any complaints of interference.
Even if you have potential listeners in your overlap zone, STA stations should still file this amendment with the statement that no complaints have been received.
The FCC has announced that they will be releasing a revised Form 318 that will support second adjacent channel waivers.
Once we have deadline dates, we will announce them.
REC DISCLAIMERS: Information on this page should not be construed as legal advice. REC Networks (REC) does not retain any attorneys or qualified consulting engineers. REC does not warrant this information as it is subject to legal interpretation and we can not warrant your outcome. By using this or any other information from REC resources, you release REC from any liability based on the outcome of your specific case. REC services do not replace the services of a qualified consulting engineer.