MMTC Offers 'Radio Rescue' Petition
July 20, 2009 at 5:07 AM (PT)
The MINORITY MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION has released its "Radio Rescue" petition to the FCC in conjunction with its Access to Capital and Telecom Policy Conference this week. The petition includes 17 proposals that the MMTC says "contemplate the most comprehensive — and deregulatory — revision of the radio technical rules in 75 years. The Petition’s objective is to reduce entry barriers for minority and small businesses while dramatically increasing the asset value and investor attractiveness of the radio industry -- especially, minority-owned stations, which tend to have inferior technical facilities that could be upgraded if these proposals are adopted."
Among the MMTC's proposals is the establishment of an "AM Transition Federal Advisory Committee" to examine moving AM stations to an expanded post-DTV transition FM band, using frequencies from TV channels 5 and 6; elimination of the community of license nighttime coverage requirements for AM; changing the AM community of license coverage requirements to conform to the rule for noncommercial FMs; replacement of the minimum efficiency standard for AMs with a "minimum radiation" standards; addition of Class C, C0, C1, C2, and C3 facilities in Zones I and IA; removal of "non-viable" FM allotments; extension of time to build FM construction permits; studying the feasibility of a new radio treaty with CUBA to help eliminate the present interference Cuban facilities inflict on several U.S. stations; FCC-administered engineering tutorials; establishment of a "Broadcast Public Engineer" position at the FCC to help small business and nonprofits with "routine engineering matters"; and a one-year blanket waiver of application fees for small business and nonprofits.
"The 17 proposals contained within this petition are offered to promote diversity, localism and competition, to remedy the effects of past discriminatory policies against minorities and women, and to provide an urgently needed stimulus for the broadcasting industry as a whole. The Commission should adopt these proposals because they provide race-neutral methods of promoting the public interest," wrote the MMTC.