Formerly airing on 100.1 mHz, Variety/Community Radio WOOL-FM in Bellows Falls, VT has re-launched on 91.5 mHz four months after receiving $25K from the Rockingham Revolving Loan Fund to help purchase a new transmitter, a new antenna and engineering services needed to install them on a tower on nearby Fall Mountain.
Gary Smith, a WOOL board member, told the Reformer that a company from the Boston area was hired as the rigging company while one of WOOL’s members did the engineering work and volunteers brought the equipment to Fall Mountain, sometimes using ATVs and snowmobiles to get it there.
Smith said WOOL, also known as “Black Sheep Radio,” is operating under program test authority, which allows it to broadcast even though it likely won’t get its non-commercial educational Class A license from the FCC until around 4/1. The license will be issued to Great Falls Community Broadcasting Company. Smith said operating on a new frequency comes after more than eight years of finagling, strategizing, fundraising and borrowing.
“It’s unprecedented, in our area, that an organization such as ours would get this kind of license,” he told the paper. “It’s a full-power license. All other stations of this power — we have 550 watts — at least as far as we believe, and someone else may want to challenge this, is run by either NHPR, a commercial company, by a college, a church or a high school in New Hampshire or Vermont.”
Smith said WOOL’s signal now reaches Grafton, Putney, Chester, Ludlow and other towns it didn’t touch before, including Claremont, NH.