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.

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June 28, 1999 - Issue 171 Final Edition

FCC Revises Internet Homepage (June 28)
Today the FCC revealed its new homepage, the first complete revision since it was launched in 1996. The new page includes a scrolling headline bar at the top that features current FCC initiatives. Navigation options are more concise, consistent with the FCC's goal to make the new format easier to use for visitors not familiar with the FCC's organization and procedures. However, some popular links that used to be on the homepage are now one level down. The popular Daily Business files, for example, are accessable through a link under XXXXX.

The FCC said its original site generated 19,000 hits per day in its first month. In May of 1999, the page logged 400,000 hits per day. While the new page includes more graphic elements, a text-only version is available for people with slower Internet connections or who use aids to make the site easier to read.

The URL remains www.fcc.gov. Also see News Release nrmc9048.

FCC International Bureau Streamlines Ku-Band Earth Station Licensing (June 24)
The FCC took action today to enable the International Bureau "to automatically grant routine satellite earth station applications proposing to use the Ku-band fixed-satellite service frequencies (14.0-14.5 GHz / 11.7-12.2 GHz) to communicate with all satellites authorized to provide service to the United States (ALSAT)." These applications will be considered as granted 35 days from the date the application appears on public notice as "accepted for filing", provided no objections have been filed. The FCC estimated that this means it would now take 55 days to process these application instead of the current average of 75 days.

The FCC also reduced the number of required emission designators for digital satellite systems, reducing the amount of time it takes the staff to enter the earth station information into its database. This should eliminate, for the most part, the need to file modifications when new emissions are added, since earth station licensees will be authorized to operate within a bandwidth/power range established by the emission designators in the license.

The International Bureau is working on a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) with more comprehensive changes to the earth station licensing process. Some of the changes contemplated include: (1) expanding the scope of applications classified as routine; (2) conditionally granting upon filing earth station applications for "certain services"; (3) "post card notification" for earth station license renewal; (4) eventual mandatory electronic filing; (5) increased license term for earth stations; and (6) type acceptance of satelite earth station equipment.

From FCC News Release (nrin9022).

FCC Revises Antenna Structure Registration Procedures (June 24)
The FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is making major changes to procedures for submitting and accessing information on antenna structures. Both electronic and manual (paper) filings are affected. In addition, the FCC is requiring all Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) filers register their taxpayer identification number (TIN) with the FCC.

Some of the other changes to the ASR procedure include use of FAA determination issue date and study number rather than attaching a copy of the determination itself, submission of overall height above mean sea level of the antenna structure in meters, use of only NAD83 coordinates, rounding meters to tenths of meters when converting from feet to meters, and a new list of "purposes".

The current electronic filing system will be discontinued as of 5 PM EDT, June 24, 1999. A new Internet-based filing system will be launched July 1, 1999. A revised FCC Form 854 will be available on the FCC Internet Forms page June 21, 1999. Subbmissions using the old form need to include additional information after June 24. See the FCC Public Notice for the requirements.

More information is available in the Public Notice DA 99-1186 - Commission Announces New Procedures for Antenna Structure Registration, the FCC Public Notice DA 99-1253 - New Antenna Structure Registration Procedures Take Effect Today, the FCC Antenna Homepage, the FCC ULS Web Page for information on TIN/Call Sign Registration, and the FCC Forms Page for the new Form 854.

Other useful links include:

FCC Recommends Licensees take Steps to Prepare for Universal Licensing System (June 23)
The FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued a Public Notice listing steps it recommends licensees take to prepare for electronic filing using the Universal Licensing System (ULS). Some of the recommended steps detail specific steps to take when using the electronic filing system. Electronic filing will be required for cellular, paging, offshore and auctioned licenses starting July 1, 1999. Refer to FCC Public Notice DA 99-1228 for details on how to prepare for ULS.

FCC Allows Greater Line-Conducted Emissions from RF Lighting Devices (June)
The FCC, in a First Report and Order in the Matter of 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Amendment of Part 18 of the Commission's Rules to Update Regulations for RF Lighting Devices, ET Docket 98-42, relaxed the line-conducted emission limits below 30 MHz for new consumer RF lighting devices. The changes bring the U.S. rules more in line with the international IEC/CISPR emission limits.

General Electric (GE) was granted a waiver relaxing the emission limits in the 2.2-2.8 MHz band by 22 dB. The FCC noted that while several hundred thousand Electrodeless Fluorescent Lamps (EFLs) were marketed under the waiver, there were no reported incidents of interference to communications services. Under the new rules, the frequency range is extended to 2.51-3.0 MHz and the level is increased to that previously allowed by the waiver, 3000 microvolts. Current limits for line-conducted emissions outside this band (including harmonics) remain unchanged. The FCC rules that "an advisory label is appropriate to furthur ensure that RF lighting devices are not used in close proximity to critical navigation and communications equipment." The product pacakaging or other user documentation must contain wording similar to the following: "This product may cause interference to radio communications and should not be installed near maritime safety communications equipment or other critical navigation or communication equipment operating between 0.45-30 MHz."

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990624.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
KXJB 38 North American Comm. Valley City, ND 976 624 Non-directional

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990622.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
KARK 32 KARK-TV Little Rock AR 989 474 Dielectric TFU-24DSC-R 03
WADL 39 ADELL B'cstg Mount Clemens MI 189 170 Harris TWSCF-26C/SM
WNIN 12 Tri-State Public Teleplex Evansville IN 15 175 Dielectric THP-C2-8-1R

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION ACTIONS - See ac990622.txt for more information
License Granted:
WTAE-DT CH-51 Pittsburg PA

Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
KDIN 50 Iowa Public B'cstg Des Moines IA 966 593 Non-directional
WGBY 58 WGBH Educ. Foundation Springfield MA 50 294 Andrew ALP12M2-HSOC
WOOD 7 LCH Communications Grand Rapids MI 16.8 218 Non-directional
WCCB 27 NC B'cstg Partners Charlotte NC n.c. n.c. Dielectric TFU-10DSC-R 03 (mod)
WNJT 43 NJ Public BC Auth. Trenton NJ 46.0 261 Non-directional
WXXI 16 WXXI Public B'cstg Pittsburgh PA 200 129 Dielectric TFU-18GTH-R C170
WCWB 42 WPTT Pittsburgh PA 331 313 Dielectric TFU-246TH (as shown)
WPXW 43 Paxson Washington Manassas VA 80 154 Non-directional

OTHER Items of Interest

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Last modified July 1, 1999 by Doug Lung dlung@transmitter.com
Copyright 1999 H. Douglas Lung