Those in Favor

Philip Tymon’s been a busy man. He’s part of the National Lawyer’s Guild Committee on Democratic Communications, and he’s going through all of the comments filed so far during the FCC’s ongoing LPFM rulemaking machinations. While this list in no way is meant to be a complete overview of who’s saying what, it is a good snapshot in how the two sides are arguing their case. Next week, we’ll hear from the opposition.
I have summarized about 100 of the comments received by the FCC in the microradio proceeding. I believe there are about 150-160 total. While I went through them fairly randomly, I think I got more of the in favor than opposing. Therefore, when I post the complete summaries, there will probably be a lot more in opposition. I am posting a partial list for those who might want to start looking it over now. I have decided to group them by state.
(* preceding a name indicates one of about a dozen identical one-page comments submitted, apparently, by a Pentecostal organization.)
Location Unknown or Multistate or Attorney Location Only given
–Community Radio Coalition (Alan Freed, Minneapolis; Thomas Desmond, Texas; Jeremy Lansman, KYES-TV, Anchorage; Kent Peterson; William Pfeiffer, Milwaukee; William Spry, Ohio).
Consolidation has led to loss of diversity and localism. Interference is not a problem. Licensed LPFM will allow for regulation of currently unlicensed stations. Licenses awarded on first-come, first-served demand basis. Max ERP of 250 watts at 100 meters HAAT or equivalent combo. Min ERP of 5 watts. Discussion of liberalizing spacing requirements. Commercial or non-commercial service, with commercial stations limited to channels 221 through 300. One LPFM per licensee, must meet small business definition (basically maximum of $1 million gross yearly from broadcast activities), local residence. Transfer of construction permits is prohibited, transfer of license allowed after three years. No simulcasting or rebroadcasting (except in emergency). No common ownership of stations in same market or with overlapping contours. LPFM is a primary service, with some modifications. No upgrades to full-power allowed. Public service requirements: 10 hours/week local, non-entertainment programming, local studio, local program origination (lengthy discussion of what “local” programming means). Fees be kept low to keep service affordable.
–InterNet Associates.
Freedom of expression, non-mainstream programming. Current second adjacent rules are too restrictive. 100 watt limit.
–Christopher DiPaola.
Diversity needed. Consolidation has led to monopolies. Local service is lacking. People of moderate income cannot gain access. LPFM would mean “pirates” could be regulated. He has previously proposed an AM microservice technically the same as Traveler’s Information Service. Supports both AM and FM microradio.
–Van, Bob, Martha Johnson, Tonya Blair.
–KQEZ-FM (Wolfgang Kurtz, Ubik Corporation).
Diversity needed. Consolidation has had negative effects. FCC should take into account new technologies making LPFM technologically feasible and affordable. Free speech considerations more important than commercial considerations. Alternatives: restore Class D license with modifications or licensing similar to FM translator. Licensee allowed one per community, non-transferable, valid for 14 years and non-renewable. Must be completely independent– not linked to any other media in community. Local studio, satellite or network programming no more that 50% of time. Owner resident of same state. Commercial service allowed.
–Harold Hallikainen.
Very local service is main need. Allow stations “wherever they fit” without causing interference. Expand FM band or use Channel 6 if possible. Each licensee limited to one station. Auctions should be used to award fixed term leases. Commercial operation allowed.
–Alan Joseph Wood.
Would apply for LPFM license in SF.
–James J. Henderson.
Local service.
–Brett Reese.
Former station owner. President of local Chamber of Commerce. Community based programming free of commercial constraints.
–Dennis Jackson (Former Member of Board of Directors, Connecticut Broadcasters Association) Localism, Consolidation, standardized formats, lack of diversity, local news and public affairs, minority ownership. Three microbroadcasters in his area offer programming otherwise unavailable– one to the Hispanic community, one to the Haitain, one offering alternative music and politics. While State Association has taken a stance against microbroadcasting, there is significant dissent from that view. LPFM needs local owners, local programming, will bring unlicensed broadcasting under FCC control. Interference is not a problem. There should be two classes of service: one similar to FM translators, one similar to old Class D. Transfer of license allowed only for expense reimbursement or very minimal profit. Local residency, small ownership limits, cross-ownership limits. Initially open filing windows, later adopt first-come, first-served. Conflicts must be settled by applicants among themselves.
–Mark Blake.
Supports RM 9242 or similar.
–Nicolaus and Judith Leggett and Don Schellhardt (Original Petitioners in RM-9208).
Request suspension of microbroadcaster prosecutions while proceeding is pending and amnesty if microbroadcasting is legalized.
–Nicolaus and Judith Leggett and Don Schellhardt (Original Petitioners in RM-9208).
Amend their original petition. Greater power than 1 watt is necessary. Possibly up to 100 watt. Only individuals and small businesses should be licensees, no auctions, either lottery or first-come, timesharing for non-profit LPFMs, commercial LPFMs should be allowed.
District of Columbia
–Henry Mayfield.
African-American, engineer. Supports plan like RM 9242.
–Assembly of Christian Churches (Rev. Justino Almodovar)
Spanish Community Church. Operating 40 watt. Bradenton, Fl. No other Spanish language in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
–Radio Amor and Radio Poder. (Rev. Alberto Acosta).
Transmitted in Tampa for 1.5 years until shut down by FCC. Christian Spanish format: provided Spanish health and safety messages from State of Florida, minister to prisoners, elderly, potential suicides, unemployed, poor. Includes petition signed by about 350-375 people.
–*Centro Cristiano de Alabanza (Rev. Vincent Veledon).
–*Radio Waves of Love (Rev. Oscar Aguero)
–J. Rodger Skinner, Jr. (Petitioner in 9242)
Supports 9242. Opposes 9208.
–*Sterling Communications, Inc.
–*Community Public Radio
–*Joseph T. Griffith
–KM Communications.
Has a variety of TV and radio ownership interests. Small, woman-owned and minority-owned corporation. Currently programs for ethnic, minority, and foreign language populations. Wants LPFM service open to woman and minority ownership and small businesspeople. KM Comm. has LPTV stations it might lose, wants 50- 3,000 watt LPFMs to replace them. Focus on localism, diverse ownership, alternative programming. Wants commercial service for small businesses, especially those geared toward minorities. Cross-ownership limits within market, but not nationally. Total of 5 LPFMs per licensee.
–Aaron Coffey.
Extensive broadcast experience. Localism, public service, diversity.
–*Kenneth B. Richter
–Lawrence J. Krudwig. (Manager, Field Systems, National Weather Service, Central Region.)
Nationally and FCC recognized expert in Emergency Alert System (EAS). Support LPFM for two reasons. First, recent consolidation restricts free speech, “There is freedom of the press, but only if you own one.” Second, both microbroadcasting and event broadcasting would enhance the use of broadcasting for emergency purposes. In fact, full-power broadcasters have often been uncooperative in cooperating with EAS.
–Franklin W. Neff.
Local unlicensed Hispanic LPFM station is providing service to population otherwise unserved, and is causing no interference. Why not let it operate? Completely supports LPFM.
–John L. Ewy.
Consider AM as well as FM. Small communities need service. Consolidation has worsened things. Regional/Local frequency coordination will reduce FCC administration.
–Lawrence, Kansas:
Individual Letters Specifically Supporting KAW Radio:
City of Lawrence, City of Lawrence Solid Waste Division, Ben Leimkuhler, Charles Brown, Alice Tippit, Samantha Bowman, Tim Frank, James Gilkem, David W. Bennett. Steve Stemmerman, Matt Bachard, David G. Hale, Michael Hedstrom, Laurie Culling, Joyce Riddle.
–Martin David Wade.
Amateur radio licensee. Local service needed. Owners should live locally, one station per licensee limit (limit also applies to all close family members). Corporate owners must be local Chapter S or non-profit. Partnerships only include natural persons. At least one year hold prior to transfer of license. Local retail stores prohibited from ownership. 20 watt ERP (100 ft. HAAT) stations for urban areas, 50 watt ERP (150 ft. HAAT) for small, rural towns, 100 watt ERP (198 ft. HAAT) for very rural areas. Allow fairly close spacing to allow max. number of stations. FCC should create database. Award primarily by lottery. Non-commercial FM band should be non-commercial stations.
–Bruce F. Elving. (FM translator licensee).
Frustrated by current translator rules, wants to bring local service to small town, wants diversity of programming. Proposes three classes of service. First class A1 (1,000 watt max ERP at 91 meters, with spacing similar to pre-1961 Class A, but no 3rd adjacent). Licensee must be local, 87.9-91.9 reserved for non-commercial. Second class similar to FM translators, but with some local origination. Third class microbroadcasters who can fit in wherever it will not cause interference to full-power or the above two classes.
-Scott Todd.
Should be three tier system, with 250 watt, 328 feet as max. Strict ownership restrictions on local residence, number of licenses, but some economic qualifications. Local programming. Also AM as well as FM. Open other bands to LPFM.
–*Cyclops Broadcasting
–Wayne Leon Yardley.
Local service, diversity, alternatives.
–Claude Stevens.
–Ed Crook.
Has owned radio stations and translators. Allow translators to originate programming.
New Jersey
–Communications Technologies, Inc. (Engineering Firm doing FCC applications.)
Supports concept of LPFM, could be of significant benefit in meeting local needs. But FCC should be careful not to create interference or encourage “pirates”. LPFM should be secondary service, submit non-interference showing similar to FM translators. There may be problem with implementation of digital, possibly FCC can assign some UHF or VHF spectrum for LPFM service and incorporate it in new radio receivers.
New York
–Romar Communications.
Broadcast and engineering experience. Consolidation has led to lack of diversity and localism. Only the very rich can exercise free speech rights via radio. LPFM offers diversity and opportunities for entrepreneurs. Professional standards and public interest requirements necessary. Ownership should be diverse and community based. LPFM is feasible, will not cause interference if done correctly. LPFM-1 limit to 1 kW ERP at 100 meters HAAT (or equivalent). Discussion of spacing and protection. Licensees have local residence, no ownership of FM ownership in market. Stand alone, locally owned AM could get LPFM-1. Transfer allowed. Lottery much preferable to auctions. Type-accepted equipment.
–*Soul’s Harbor United Pentacostal Church
North Carolina
–Pastor David Elms (First United Pentecostal Church)
–WQRP (Southwestern Ohio Public Radio (Dayton), Harold F. Parshall, President)
Parshall himself started as an unlicensed microbroadcaster (in the 1940’s). Only wealthy can now own radio stations. Fully supports LPFM. There is a need. First-come, first-served, various tiers of power allowed up to 3000 watts. Up to 100 watts for less formal broadcasting, 100-3000 watts for more formal, full-time operations. Type accepted equipment (its not that expensive). FM only. 50 mile local residency requirement. May be allowed to own multiple non-overlapping stations (within 50 mile residency limit) in order to serve a large city.
–James F. Phillips, Great Wireless Talking Machine.
Lack of local service.
–*Riverside Ministries.
–James R. Cunningham.
Broadcast Engineer. Include AM also. Regional “Frequency Coordination” Commissions.
–David Moore.
Filed very dense 46 page comment basically saying that the FCC does not have the authority to regulate non-interstate commerce and that the FCC is in violation of a large number of Federal rules, statutes, regulations, and court decisions.
–John J. Zolkoske.
Has attempted to get radio or translator license for small town. Been thwarted at every step by big stations and FCC.
–City of Allentown.
Would like city-run station.
–Robert M. Stevens (owner WHJB/WBCW- daytime AMs).
Concentration, lack of localism and diversity. Under current FCC rules his two AM daytimers, fairly far out of Pittsburgh, count as stations in the Pittsburgh market, allowing Pittsburgh to be counted as a market where one licensee can own up to 8 stations. Daytime AM stations should either have first crack at trading in the AM for a new LPFM or applying for LPFM without the AM counting as an attributable broadcast ownership, or even according them a preference. Initially, there should be filing windows, decision by lottery with weighted preferences for lack of ownership, daytime ownership, etc. FCC should get Congressional exemption from auction requirement. Eliminate 2nd and 3rd adjacent channel restrictions. Ownership should be local and restricted in number of LPFMs.
–David Rockwell.
–*Morris Broadcasting and Communications.
South Carolina
–WGCD/WLTC. (Frank Neely, Crusader Broadcasting Ministry).
Owns 2 AMs, one daytime only. Would like first opportunity to trade full-time AM for LPFM and supplement daytimer with LPFM.
–*Bible Baptist Church (Pastor Bill Cole)
–David Hollfelder.
Current FCC regulation is unfair. Two classes of service: 50 watt max. and 3,000 watt max. Also, utilize channels 5 and 6. 50 watt stations: primarily non-commercial, local ownership, one per owner, local area “coordinator” for local self-regulation. 3,000 watt stations: commercial.
–Ronnie V. Miller.
Broadcasting background. Need in small communities. Modify Part 15 to allow higher field strength limit; get equivalent of 1 watt station. Certification by local SBE engineer. Stations should be non-commercial.
–Claude B. Parker.
Radio broadcast management background.
–Thomas Desmond.
Electrical Engineer. LPFM is technically feasible. Interference concerns are not significant.
–Michael Trahos.
Doctor, Telecomm. Engineer, involved in Emergency Radio planning. Basically supports micro-radio. Wants commercial use.
–Tempest, Inc. (Louis T. Gnecco, M.S.E.E.)
LPFM would bring new talent, new business, create jobs, lead to innovative programming and technology. Would
attract young people into engineering, help national economy and national security.
–*Jeff Bass.
–Zillah School District.
Would like school district radio station. Stations should be non-commercial. Balanced Budget Act of 1997 requires high bidder auction for commercial licenses. Non-commercial licenses can be distributed by lottery or other means.
–Rex Kamstra.
Demonstrated demand for new service. Local communities need service. First Amendment rights. Power levels up to 6,000 watts may be feasible, but often 50 watts will be sufficient.
West Virginia
–Francis A. Ney, Jr.
Local service is needed. Interference would not be a serious problem. Local Frequency coordination self-regulation has been effective in Amateur Radio and other radio services. Local ownership is a must. A network of LPFM stations would be helpful in emergency situations.
–*Chuck Lawton.
Philip Tymon
National Lawyers Guild Committee on Democratic Communications (CDC)
558 Capp Street
San Francisco, CA 94110