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Mar 1 & 16 IN KY TN AR LA MS  

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Statement of Michelle Bradley: Report of the 2018 National EAS Test and LPFM

EAS LogoToday, the Federal Communications Commission Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau released the Report of the 2018 National EAS Test.  Here are some of the bullet points from that test:

  • This year's EAS test was different as it was tainted by political rhetoric surrounding the the fact that this was the first year that Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) would be integrated into the national test and that the alert would appear on mobile devices as "Presidential Alert".
  • Overall, radio had a 78.7% participation in this year's test.  This is a slight increase from 78.5% in 2017.
  • LPFM's participation this year was 48.4%, this is a slight decrease from 48.5% in the previous test.  
  • Of the 3,802 radio broadcasters that failed to file in the 2018 test, 1,121 (29%) of these stations were LPFMs.  
  • LPTV (Low Power Television) had a massive slump in participation this year falling from 66.3% in 2017 to 41.5% in the most recent test.
  • For the second year in a row, low power broadcasters (LPFM and LPTV) were called out for "[reducing] the overall participation rate of all broadcasters".
  • Of the 962 LPFMs that did participate, 869 (90.3%) successfully received the alert and 789 (82.0%) successfully retransmitted the alert.  By comparison, in 2017, 92.5% of stations received the alert and 83.8% did rebroadcast it.

LPFM to use LMS for FCC filing for the first time

FCC Licensing and Management System logo

Based on credible reports from Commission staff, REC can confirm that the FCC Media Bureau plans to require the use of the License Management System (LMS) for renewal filings in the upcoming cycle.  The first renewal filings for Maryland, D.C., Virginia and West Virginia must be filed on or just before June 1, 2019.  

LMS has been used primarily by television broadcasters for most of their application needs.  In television, assignments and transfers still go through CDBS.  In full-service radio, LMS has been used only for ownership reports.  LPFM stations are not required to file ownership reports.

The LMS form is called Form 2100.  Similar to the IRS 1040 tax form, Form 2100 uses "schedules" and other variations in order to handle specific needs of the application.  We have not yet seen the presentation of how the form will be laid out.  Since the existing renewal form (Form 303-S) is fairly simple and straightforward, we expect the LMS version of the form to be the same.

Rant from Riverton: The Japanese are doing it right, but they've got the room to do it

Sony ICF-29 - (Photo: Sony)Lately, I have been seeing an article in the Japan Times that is spreading around the US broadcasting industry and hobby like wildfire.  Those who know about my connections with Japan have been sending me e-mails and Facebook private messages about it.   I am referring to the request by the Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association (JBA) (Japan's NAB) to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) (Japan's FCC) to work towards abolishing commercial AM radio broadcasting in Japan through converting to a full FM arrangement by the year 2028.  

 

Some are saying that the end is near for AM broadcasting in the United States, especially with the moves by several European nations and now this move by the JBA to work towards their own solution to AM revitalization.  

Rant from Riverton: It's about ARRL's numbers.. and "Tyro"-mania

The §1.401 Inbox in the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System occasionally gets blessed with Petitions for Rulemaking regarding amateur radio.  Everything from license class restructuring to people upset because they lost the opportunity to get an extra class call sign is tn there.  Very few see the light of day, be assigned an RM number and get on the public notice for a 30 day comment period.   Two ham petitions re

REC Statement on PIRATE Act: HR-583

Overall, REC does support most of the text contained within the PIRATE Act.  Improperly operated broadcast transmitters can cause interference to public safety and safety of life communications especially in the aeronautical mobile and aeronautical radionavigation services and higher powered transmitters can pose a public health hazard.

FCC adopts Notice of Proposed Rulemaking MB Docket 19-3 affecting LPFM and full-service NCE

On Thursday, February 14, the Federal Communications Commission has adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in MB Docket 19-3 which proposes changes to various non-controversial administrative rules, most of them would not apply until NCE full-service and LPFM has another filing window.  The proposed changes include:

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