Welcome to RF Current, a weekly electronic newsletter focusing on Broadcast technical and F.C.C. related issues. This newsletter is part of The RF Page @ www.transmitter.com, a web site devoted to TV Broadcast RF engineering. For more information see the What is... guide to the R.F. Page site.

Issues are dated each Monday, although recently I've needed an extra day or two to complete each issue. Articles may be posted earlier if time permits or if there is a major, breaking story.

NOTE: Due to the U.S. holiday Memorial Day RF Current Will not be published May 31. The June 7th issue will include news dated after May 26th.

<<< Back to May 17 - Issue 166

May 26, 1999 - Issue 167 Extended Final Edition

FCC TOWAIR Query Now Availalbe for Public Access (May 26)
The FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has placed its TOWAIR Query on the Internet. TOWAIR Query is a landing facility slope calculation program used to determine whether a tower (or other structure) with a height of 200 feet or less that does not meet the 20 foot rule criteria requires FAA notification and FCC registration. The program calculates the location of the structure in relation to nearby airports and runways and can determine if the "structure data will penetrate the glide slope."

To use the program, enter the site location in latitude and longitude, the highest height above ground of antenna structions, including all appurtenances (such as lighting rods and obstruction lights) and the elevation of the site above mean sea level.

The FCC Public Notice (pnwl9125) said access to TOWAIR Query is available through the World Wide Web at http://gullfoss.fcc.gov:8080/cgi- bin/ws.exe/beta/genmen/index.html. Select TOWAIR Query on this page to run the program.

FCC Grants Transfer of DBS Programming authorizations from MCI Telecommunications to Echostar (May 21)
On May 19th, the FCC approved the transfer of an authorization to construct, launch and operate a high power DBS service on 29 channels at 110 degrees West Longitude. Echostar currently holds DBS authorizations at 148 degrees W.L., 119 degrees W.L, and 61.5 degrees W.L. With the addition of the 110 degree location, Echostar will now be able to operate satellites from two locations covering the entire continental U.S. An FCC News Release (nrin9019) noted that "...this transaction will allow EchoStar to become a stronger competitor. As a result, consumers should benefit from the increased competition that should lead to increased program offerings and options and/or lower prices in the marketplace for multichannel programming."

Refer to the full text of Order FCC 99-109 approving the transfer for more information.

FCC Releases Notice of Proposed Rule Making to Channel Utah DTV Allocations (May 21)
The FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rule Making in the Matter of Amendment of Section 73.622(b), Table of Allotments, Digital Television Broadcast Stations - (Salt Lake City, Ogden and Provo, Utah). Eight TV stations in the Utah market, as "DTV Utah" requested changes to the DTV Table of Allotments so that all eight stations, KSL-TV, KTVX, KUED, KULC, KUTV, KBYU, KJZZ-TV and KUWB so that these stations may collocate on a new tower at the current KSL-TV site at Farnsworth Peak. The group requests substitution of channel 44 for channel 39 for KBYU-TV-DT, substitution of channel 36 for channel 34 for the KULC DTV channel and substituion of channel 48 for channel 17 for KUWB-DT, This will have an impact on LPTV stations in the area, although the Public Notice stated "DTV Utah has examined the impact of its proposal on the LPTV community, and is taking steps to ensure that any LPTVs that might be adversely impacted by these DTV allotment changes are reasonably accommodated.

The allcations requested are:
State and City DTV Ch. DTV power (kW) HAAT (m) DTV Service Pop. (thous.)
UT Provo 44 403.0 1257 1389
UT Ogden 36 304.0 1257 1393
UT Ogden 48 200.0 1257 1374
UT Salt Lake City 46 200 1267 1384
The FCC seeks comments on this proposed amendment to the DTV Table of Allotments. Comments are due July 12, 1999 with Reply Comments due by July 27, 1999.

FCC Announces Broadcast Auction Schedule - Seeks Comments
The FCC announced that certain AM, FM, TV, LPTV and FM and TV translator construction permits will be auctioned starting September 28, 1999. The outcome of the auctions will determine which, if any, of the applications among each group of mutually exclusive will be granted. Only applicants identified in the FCC Public Notice announcing the auctions will be allowed to participate. They may only bid on construction permits for which they have already filed an appropriate long form application.

The full power particpants include those with mutually exclusive applications remaining after the comparative freeze instituted after the U.S. Court of Appeals for DC decision in Bechtel v. FCC. Mutually exclusive Low power TV and TV translator DTV displacement relief applications are also included, except for mutually exclusive "daisy chains" of applications, where some applications are directly exclusive with some, but not all, of the other applications in a group. The FCC said a separate auction for these would be announced shortly.

A total of 968 long form applications fall under this proceeding, including 14 AM stations, 568 FM stations, 14 FM translators, 167 TV stations and 208 LPTV and TV translator stations. The minimum opening bid vary depending on the type of station and its location. full details are available in the FCC Public Notice Closed Broadcast Auctions Scheduled for September 28, 1999 - Comment Sought on Reserve Prices or Minimum Opening Bids and Other Auction Procedural Issues. An Excel Spreadsheet Listing Applications and Minimum Opening Bids is also available.

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990524.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
WOPX 48 Channel 56 of Orlando Melbourne FL 1,000 456 Dielectric TFU-18DSC C170
WGPX 14 Paxson Greensboro Lic. Burlington NC 150 221 Dielectric TFU-18DSC C170

OTHER Items of Interest

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Last modified May 27, 1999 by Doug Lung dlung@transmitter.com
Copyright 1999 H. Douglas Lung