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.)
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.
Freedom of expression, non-mainstream programming. Current second adjacent
rules are too restrictive. 100 watt limit.
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.
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.
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.
Would apply for LPFM license in SF.
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
Supports RM 9242 or similar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
de Alabanza (Rev. Vincent Veledon).
of Love (Rev. Oscar Aguero)
Skinner, Jr. (Petitioner in 9242)
Supports 9242. Opposes 9208.
--*Sterling Communications, Inc.
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.
Extensive broadcast experience. Localism, public service, diversity.
--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.
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
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.
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.
--Wayne Leon Yardley.
Local service, diversity, alternatives.
Has owned radio stations and translators. Allow translators to originate
--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.
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.
United Pentacostal Church
--Pastor David Elms (First United Pentecostal Church)
--WQRP (Southwestern Ohio Public Radio (Dayton), Harold F. Parshall,
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.
Phillips, Great Wireless Talking Machine.
Lack of local service.
--James R. Cunningham.
Broadcast Engineer. Include AM also. Regional "Frequency
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.
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
--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.
Church (Pastor Bill Cole)
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
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.
Radio broadcast management background.
Electrical Engineer. LPFM is technically feasible. Interference concerns
are not significant.
Doctor, Telecomm. Engineer, involved in Emergency Radio planning. Basically
supports micro-radio. Wants commercial use.
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
--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
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.
--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.
National Lawyers Guild Committee on Democratic Communications (CDC)
558 Capp Street
San Francisco, CA 94110