Novel interference waiver gains no FCC traction


Broadcast TowerCalvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, licensee of KWVE-FM San Clemente CA, wanted FCC permission to abandon a directional antenna because a mountain range prevents it from interfering with Owens One Company’s co-channnel KUZZ-FM Bakersfield CA.

The directional pattern was required between the two stations since they are short-spaced to one another.

Permission was denied, and CCCM is seeking reconsideration, this time defending its contention with alternate overlap prediction methodology, including Longley-Rice and Point to Point propagation analyses.

The novel assertion claimed by CCCM is that the reason KWVE uses a directional antenna is not to protect KUZZ from KWVE, but to protect KWVE from incoming interference from KUZZ. But it says that is irrelevant since the terrain between the two stations will prevent any overlap.
Here are the pertinent dates – the FCC’s initial denial of permission was issued 6/24/08; CCCM filed to reconsider 7/15/08, and filed a supplemental petition with the new pleadings 7/17/09.

The FCC was prepared to turn down the request on procedural grounds – it said CCCM should have had its petition in within 30 days, not the year or so it took to submit the supplemental evidence.

FCC also noted that it rarely allows alternate propagation studies to be utilized, and did not believe their use was warranted in this case. It added that whether the directional antenna is used to prevent received rather than caused interference is irrelevant, since the FCC is simply interested in preventing interference, period.

The FCC summed up its position this way: “As the Commission has explained:  ‘We cannot allow a party to “sit back” and hope that a decision will be in its favor, and when it isn’t, to parry with an offer of more evidence.  No judging process in any branch of government could operate efficiently or accurately if such a procedure were allowed Calvary’s improper use of new studies to resurrect arguments, which were previously rejected by the Bureau, constitutes just such an attempt.”

There will be no reconsideration of the FCC’s initial decision.