FCC blocks interference plan


Noncommercial Spirit Radio of North Florida tried to upgrade its WWLC-FM Cross City FL, only to be denied by the FCC. That’s because a third-adjacent station, WUFT-FM Gainesville FL, was within range of the proposed new contour for WWLC. Spirit appealed, noting that the area of overlap included 58 square kilometers, and the population inside the overlap area is 602, calling this “de minimis” interference. The FCC didn’t buy it. It said, for one thing, that the plan would cause “WUFT-FM to lose service area and population served without any countervailing benefit in return.” It also noted that residents might not recognize problems with the WUFT signal as interference caused by WWLC, and that some might actually receive WWLC in place of WUFT. In reconsidering, the FCC noted that making an exception here would potentially open the door to other similar de minimis interference requests, resulting in an overcrowded FM band with ever-increasing presence of interference.