Speaking at the 2016 Radio Show in Nashville, then-FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai noted that he wants a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on a 2014 plan that would create a new class of FM stations that would broadcast at 12Kw from a reference antenna height of above average terrain of 100 metres.
“Under this proposal, it’s likely that hundreds of Class A FM stations could upgrade to Class C4 FM stations,” Pai said.
Now that Pai is the FCC’s Chairman, and the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC) would like the Commission to move forward with the NPRM.
In a letter dated Jan. 31 sent to Chairman Pai, Republican Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, and Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, MMTC President Emeritus and Senior Advisor David Honig said the Class C4 proposal would allow nearly 800 Class A stations to jump in power from 6kw to 12kw, and “allow hundreds of stations of all classes to improve their technical facilities without impacting the protected signal contours of neighboring stations.”
MMTC and SSR Communications Inc., owner of Talk WYAB-FM 103.9 in Pocahantas, Miss., co-authored the proposal.
WYAB is a Class A serving the Jackson, Miss., market.
As Honig and the MMTC sees it, “Under the current regulatory environment, many independent and minority-owned stations are and will be forever unable to upgrade their facilities, unless the Commission moves to adopt” the Class A C4 proposal.
“As many independent and minority-owned FM stations are of the Commission’s lowest power classifications, approval of the RM-11727 proposal will enable a diverse array of broadcasters to compete more effectively,” Honig says. “When the Commission took formal comments on RM-11727, the proposal received near universally positive comments. Consequently, MMTC respectfully requests that the Commission promptly issue an NPRM on RM-11727’s FM Class C4 and Section 73.215 initiative.”