Broadcaster Certifications Due for BAS Authorizations in the 12.7–13.25 GHz Band

The FCC is in the midst of a proceeding examining whether and how to repurpose the 12.7-13.25 GHz Band for new “expanded use”-namely, broadband wireless. Many broadcast stations make use of the band for crucial broadcast auxiliary services (BAS), including for links from studios to transmitters (STLs and TSLs), electronic newsgathering (ENG), and intercity relays (ICRs). Because the “expanded use” contemplated in the band may displace or require the repack of incumbent BAS operations, the Commission is requiring the majority of BAS licensees in the 12.7 GHz band to complete a certification as to the accuracy and operational status of their operations in the band.

The FCC has issued a Public Notice announcing that those certifications are due on or before November 29, 2023. It will be extremely important for broadcasters to timely and accurately complete and file those certifications; the FCC has indicated that it will use the certifications as the mechanism by which to grant or deny broadcasters’ future ability to receive various benefits in the band, including reimbursement for relocation, interference protection, and/or repacking to a new location within the band.

The below synthesizes some of the most important generally applicable aspects of the Notice; however, the following summary should not be viewed as a substitute for a careful examination of the Notice itself.

  • Certifications for BAS licenses must be filed in ULS. Broadcasters will need to file certifications for their affected 12.7 GHz Band authorizations in the Commission’s Universal Licensing System (ULS) as a “non-docketed pleading” associated with all BAS call signs to which the certification applies. The Notice provides more information on pages 2 and 3, including the required content for each certification. Because ULS functionality can at times be limited due to unexpected technical issues, it is strongly recommended that broadcasters not wait until the last minute to prepare and submit these filings.
  • Certifications must certify (1) the present accuracy of all information reflected on the license, and (2) that the facilities are operating as authorized. A sample certification format is included at the end of the Notice as “Attachment 1.”
  • Limited exemptions. If you applied for a new or modified license on or after January 1, 2021-including a modification request in response to the Notice-the specific call sign involved in the application is exempt from the certification requirement. To be clear, this exemption does NOT apply to applications solely for renewal.
  • Some modifications permitted; also due by November 29. If you discover incorrect information on your current authorizations in the Band, the Public Notice outlines the procedures you must take to modify your authorization to reflect accurate information. Minor modifications will be permitted so long as a licensee can establish in an exhibit to the application either that (1) the modification would not add to any relocation costs, if applicable in the future, or (2) a waiver of the current filing freeze would be justified. Any other (non-minor) modifications must include a request for waiver of the freeze, and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

If you have BAS operations in the 12.7 GHz band, you should carefully examine the Notice and consult your regulatory counsel to ensure a full understanding of how the certification requirements and procedures affect your own authorizations.

KPBS La Jolla Translator Given Green Light to Up Power

On September 21, 2023, the FCC granted a Construction Permit by K206AC 89.1 La Jolla to increase its power from 4 to 50 watts ERP and to change its translator source to KPBS’s HD2 service. The analog signal would then broadcast the classical music secondary channel of the San Diego State University NPR affiliate. The translator sits atop an apartment highrise building at 939 Coast Boulevard near La Jolla Cove.

September 2023 Meeting: Alan Jurison and 4th Gen HD Radio

Generation4 HD Radio hardware and software offers immense flexibility and reliability of HD Radio transmissions. Alan will discuss the benefits of upgrading from Gen3 to Gen4 and discuss best practices and field implementation of Gen4 technology.

Join us Tuesday, September 12th at 11:30 AM online. Sign up for the Zoom call here. This meeting was organized by Chapter 47, Los Angeles.

About Alan Jurison

Alan Jurison, iHeartMedia

Alan started at age 15 with Pilot Communications in Syracuse, NY. During this time, he developed the technical aspects of the industry’s first remote voice-tracking for stations in distant cities which later became commonplace in the industry. He graduated with a B.S. in Information Management and Technology from Syracuse University and was promoted to Regional Information Systems Manager and Broadcast Engineer for Citadel Broadcasting, now Cumulus Media. For 11 years, he led many IT and Engineering projects companywide. In 2012, Alan joined iHeartMedia as a Senior Operations Engineer for the corporate Technical Operations group. Much of his focus has been on deploying and advancing iHeartMedia’s digital HD Radio data services. Alan is a member of the SBE) and holds several certifications, including Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer (CPBE), AM Directional Specialist (AMD), Digital Radio Broadcast (DRB), and Broadcast Networking Engineer (CBNE). Alan serves on the NAB Radio Technology Committee (NABRTC) and National Radio Systems Committee (NRSC). Alan has been in the radio industry for over 29 years and offers a unique perspective on the convergence of IT and broadcast engineering.

San Diego FMs Apply for Modifications in Advance of Upcoming Filing Window

Several San Diego FM stations have filed to move their transmitter sites or otherwise improve their signals before the opening of the next Low Power FM filing window coming up in November. Their applications attempt to reserve better coverage and prevent co-channel filers from encroaching.

KVIB-LP 101.1 San Diego filed with the FCC on August 28, 2023 to move from its current location atop the World Beat Center in Balboa Park to the top of a building in University Heights near the corner of Park Boulevard and Adams Avenue. This move will significantly increase the population count served since the current location has no housing within a radius that readily prevents co-channel interference from KRTH Los Angeles. KVIB is licensed to Positive Hope, Inc., an organization closely linked with the World Beat Center.

KCZP-LP 93.7 San Diego filed with the FCC on August 8, 2023 to move its transmitter from its current location atop the bell tower of the St. Joseph Cathedral at 3rd and Beech street in uptown San Diego to an adjacent, taller Cathedral Plaza Apartments associated with the Catholic Diocese. The new location would provide terrain clearance to the north and some downtown building clearance southward. The station, while independent of the Catholic Church, provides Catholic network programming.

K206AC 89.1 La Jolla filed with the FCC on August 30, 2023 to increase its power from 4 to 50 watts ERP and to change its translator source to KPBS’s HD2 service. The analog signal would then broadcast the classical music secondary channel of the San Diego State University NPR affiliate. The translator sits atop an apartment highrise building on Coast Boulevard near La Jolla Cove.

Carl Craver Passes Away

We learned that Carl Craver of Buena Park, owner of Viper Cabling, passed away suddenly yesterday. He was 58. He had been an installation technician with TV Magic during the time when they installed the extensive systems at KSWB-TV and XETV in San Diego. Later he created his own cabling contract company, installing data, audio, and video cables—and later whole systems—for broadcast studios, stadiums, data centers, and many other facilities out of his headquarters in Orange County. Carl had recently retired from full-time involvement in Viper.

I had provided adjunct services to the Viper team and found Carl to be fair, forthright, always eager to serve, and fun to be around. He will be missed.

Society of Broadcast Engineers, San Diego