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(week) or two to complete each issue. Articles may be posted earlier if time permits or if there is a major, breaking story.

<<< Back to September 18 - Issue 232

September 25, 2000 - Issue 233 Final Edition

FCC Experimental Actions for August 1 to September 1, 2000 (Sept. 25)
The FCC released its list of experimental applications granted from 8/1/00 to 9/1/00. The list this month was short. Interesting applications included a license to Digital Wireless Corporation to operate on 513.1375 and 517.1375 MHz for development and demonstration of equipment for export. This is TV channel 21. There is a full power TV station on channel 22 in Los Angeles and Low Power TV stations surrounding L.A. on channel 21. Channel 21 is also a DTV allocation for Santa Barbara, CA. In other TV channel operations, Motorola was granted a license to operate in the 764-776 MHz (TV channels 63 and 64) and 794-806 MHz (TV channels 68 and 69) bands to test and demonstrate public safety equipment in Schaumburg, IL; Chicago, IL; Plantation, FL; and Tampa, FL. Channel 63 is used by WPPB in Boca Raton, near Plantation, Florida. WAMI-TV in Miami, which also covers Plantation, is on channel 69. No other conflicts were noticed.

Refer to the Public Notice (pnet0010) for information on other experimental license grants.

FCC Delays Initial Filing Date for LPTV "More Inclusive" Minor Mod Applications (Sept. 25)
In its Report and Order, Establishment of a Class A Television Service (fcc00115.txt or fcc00115.pdf) the FCC said it would permit filing of Class A, LPTV and TV translator facility minor change applications under more inclusive rules after October 1, 2000. The new rules allow filing for an increase in the station's ERP or antenna height that would extend its protected service as a minor change application.

However, the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers (AFCCE) requested a postponement of the October 1, 2000 initial filing date. AFCCE stated applications filed in the limited LPTV auction filing window (extended to August 31, 2000) will affect the acceptability of contemplated minor change applications. AFCCE requested delaying the initial filing date until 30 days after completion of the auction applications in the FCC Consolidated Database System (CDBS). There was no opposition to the request.

In Public Notice DA 00-2190, the FCC said, "we acknowledge the concerns of the petitioner that additional time is necessary to prepare acceptable minor change applications on the basis of necessary information in CDBS. Therefore, we will postpone the initial filing date for the filing of Class A, LPTV and TV translator facilities changes application, pursuant to the more inclusive minor change definition set forth in the Report and Order, Establishment of a Class A Television Service, until January 15, 2001. This will permit the Commission to enter all of the applications filed during the auction window into CDBS, and will allow parties intending to file minor change applications at least 30 days to consider all of the applications filed during the auction filing window." The FCC will continue to accept minor change applications filed under the old rules.

SATELLITE - AlphaStar Launches Residential Two-Way Satellite Internet on GE-5 (Sept. 25)
Alphastar International announced in a Press Release it has launched "the first two-way satellite broadband network for residential Internet users." The system uses the GE-5 satellite. Alphastar said it would deploy its service nationally in 200 markets the continental U.S.

Unlike the MSN two-way direct-to-satellite Internet service offered by RadioShack using the Gilat Satellite Network, the Alphastar system, marketed as TeleCrossing.net, relies on a matrix of fixed wireless local hubs to deliver the signal to homes and businesses. TeleCrossing said this avoids the need to install a satellite dish at the subscribers residence and, as the simple radio antenna can be self-installed, reduces the cost of installation.

TeleCrossing will offer symmetrical or asymmetrical data service with speeds up to 44 Mbps on demand. More information is available at the links above. See the February 21, 2000 RF Current for information on the RadioShack/MSN/Gilat satellite Internet service and the March 27, 2000 RF Current for information EchoStar's plans for Ka-band direct-to-home satellite Internet service from iSky.

FCC Redesigns ULS and ASR Homepages (Sept. 22)
The FCC has changed the design of its Universal Licensing System (ULS) web site and the Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) web site. The new pages have a similar appearance and are structured to make it easy to get to the most used functions. Details were announced in a Public Notice (DA 00-2157).

According to a tech support document on the web site, Netscape Navigator (version 4.7 or later) is required to access all of the features on the site. Due to Java compatibility issues with Microsoft Internet Explorer, on-line filing is not supported using Internet Explorer. The document said, "the U L S task force is continuing to explore ways to make U L S compatible with both Netscape and IE. In particular, the staff has initiated discussions with Microsoft to determine whether recent upgrades of IE could make development of a front-end interface in U L S easier and more cost-effective."

FCC Modifies Low Power FM Rules to Increase Protection from LPFM Interference (Sept. 22)
The FCC reaffirmed its order creating a new low power FM radio service, but took steps to address interference issues raised by full power FM broadcassters, including the Radio Reading Service and National Public Radio. In a News Release (nrmm0040) reporting on its Memorandum Opinion and Order on Reconsideration, the FCC said, "Pending its analysis of a study being conducted to assess the performance of specialized equipment used to receive radio reading services, the Commission will require LPFM stations to meet 3rd adjacent channel spacing standards with respect to existing full power stations operating radio reading services as of the date of this Order."

The MO&O on Reconsideration also established complaint procedures for interference caused by LPFM stations. "The procedures would be triggered when a full power FM station receives complaints of interference by the LPFM station from one percent of its listeners in the area in which it is most likely to experience interference." The first step in the complaint process involves cooperative efforts between LPFM and the full power FM licensees to identify and resolve bona fide interference complaints. If the licensees can't resolve the interference issues cooperatively, "the Commission will commence an expedited modification procedure through which it will resolve the complaints within 90 days."

The FCC also modified its single-station ownersip rule "to allow government public safety and transportation organizations to apply for multiple LPFM stations for disseminating traffic, safety and other information n where the additional applications are not subject to conflicting applications. Similarly, where there are no conflicting applications, the Commission stated that applications would be accepted for university student-run LPFM stations from universities holding full power FM licenses that are not student-run."

Additional information is available on the FCC LPFM website.

OTHER Items of Interest

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