FCC Announces Procedures For Stations Affected By California Fires
September 1, 2009 at 10:57 AM (PT)
The FCC’s Media Bureau has announced procedures to help TV and radio stations maintain or resume broadcast operations if their facilities are threatened or compromised by the CALIFORNIA wildfires.
The Commission will take requests for wildfire-prompted special temporary authority by informal letter or e-mail as well as, for FMs and TV stations, electronically; Requests should include the certification, “Neither the applicant nor any party to this application is subject to a denial of federal benefits that includes FCC benefits pursuant to Section 5301 of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, 21 U.S.C. § 862.”
FM and TV stations may also erect temporary antennas without prior authority from the FCC, and AM stations may use a horizontal or vertical wire or a non-directional vertical element of a directional antenna as an emergency antenna; for stations knocked off the air by fire, the Media Bureau is waiving until OCTOBER 31st the requirement that licensees notify the Commission within 24 hours of the commencement of operations employing such antennas but licensees must submit a request for STA within 10 business days of commencement of operations.
AM stations may use their full daytime facilities during nighttime hours to broadcast emergency information on a noncommercial basis, but licensees must notify the Commission within 48 hours of the commencement of such operations.
The Commission is also waiving the usual time periods for notification that a station has gone silent, allowing such notifications within 30 days and requests to remain silent within 60 days of the discontinuance of operations, with the waiver effective until OCTOBER 31st.