FCC fines a not-so-low power television station


Caribevision Station Group’s WFUN-LD in Miami ran into a few problems with FCC field agents, and will be writing a check to atone for them. Among other things, the agents discovered that the station was operating at almost triple the ERP it was licensed for.

The station also lacked operational Emergency Alert Systems equipment.

The station was supposed to by using transmitter power output of .498 kW to achieve an ERP of 15 kw; instead, FCC agents found it operating at 3.565 kW, transmitting an ERP of 41 kW. The station’s engineer was able to bring the power back down to .498 at the time of the inspection, showing that the overpowering was not the result of defective equipment.

It turned out that the engineering specs for the station were defective, however. In order to achieve an ERP of 15 kW, the station needed to be set for output of 1.34 kW. 15 kW, by the way, is the maximum allowable ERP for an LPTV or translator.

The upshot is that the station applied for an received a CP to upgrade its output to 1.34 kW, was hit with an $8K fine for the EAS failure and a $4K fine for the power surge, totally $12K for both.