The FCC wants to know what broadcasters think about a proposal to establish a new class of FM stations known as Class C4. In a Notice of Inquiry, the FCC asks whether it should establish the new FM Class C4, with a maximum of 12,000 watts at 100 meters antenna height, to fit between current Class A (maximum 6,000 watts at 100 meters) and Class C3 (25,000 watts at 100 meters). If adopted, the proposal would allow some Class A stations to double their power.
The FCC wants to know if creating the new Class C4 would benefit existing Class A stations that cannot currently upgrade to C3 status, and/or would allow affected broadcasters to better serve their communities. The FCC asks whether creating the new class of stations would particularly benefit minority-owned Class A stations and encourage diversity of ownership.
The FCC also wants information about how the new Class C4 might affect secondary services such as FM translators and LPFM stations, or impact AM primary stations that have taken advantage of the ability to rebroadcast on FM translators. The FCC also wants to hear from broadcasters about whether the new Class C4 could create interference issues.
Comments are due August 13, 2018, with reply comments due September 10, 2018.
If you would like more information about the new Class C4 proposal, or are interested in filing comments in the proceeding, please contact any attorney in our office.