October 2013 Issue  
 Publisher:  Information Station Specialists
Subscribe to The Source
FCC Closure
FCC 'Not Open for Normal Operations'
...But what if you are required to act while they are closed?
With the FCC in DC as well as the Licensing Branch at Gettysburg hobbled as a result of the Federal Government’s brown-out, Information Station operators – existing and potential – are asking predictable questions. If an action such as a license renewal or comment filing is required while the Commission is shuttered, how does one proceed? The FCC’s answer: File as soon as we reopen.

For example, the closing date for reply comments on the FCC’s Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the removal of TIS transmitter filters was October 3 - three days after the close-down. The FCC’s website recently stated that “comments will be considered timely filed on the day after the Commission reopens for business.”

The same approach probably can be applied to any action required by the Commission while they are closed – such as a license renewal or the filing of a construction notification.

Information Station Specialists recommends watching FCC.gov daily to see when it reappears. At that time, pull the trigger on your action within 24 hours. The Commission likely will provide further guidance via the website upon reopening.

Any FCC license applications that have been submitted to Information Station Specialists during the close-down will be filed immediately, once those doors reopen.
Low Power FM: It Gets Worse
Safety Agencies Add More Reasons Why LPFM is Untenable
Last month’s article “Low Interest FM” described why safety agencies are concerned about using LPFM as a safety tool. Now potential applicants have raised a more onerous hurdle for agencies intent on using the service to aid public safety – the difficult requirement for 8 hours of new locally produced programming, daily.

Readers have noted that one of the "points" an agency would need to score to be fully qualified to compete for a Low Power FM license requires the applicant to commit to broadcasting 8 hours of new, local programming – every day. Even though the rules would allow the content to have one repetition – meaning that an agency could produce 4 hours and repeat it once to satisfy the 8-hour requirement – most public safety agencies are not set up to do that, nor would they have that amount of new local content to disseminate on a daily basis.

Information Station licensees reportedly have been receiving unsolicited contacts for months from companies encouraging them to use their services to file Low Power FM applications – some without disclosing the caveats detailed above.

Of course, the filing window for Low Power FM license applications is currently 'out the window' with the FCC closed for business. It is not known when the window will reset to open.
Talk to The Source
Selected Reader Responses
“Being retired for 11 years, it is most interesting to see how far and wide the use of [Information] Radio Systems is. I can only say I am glad that emergency managers have seen the radio systems as a most important tool.”

Bill Reynolds – Emergency Manager, City of Naperville, Il (RET)

“I appreciate you keeping us in the loop regarding TIS operations. It appears that broadcasts of this nature are making a significant difference around the country. It’s also exciting to see that the FCC is willing to make changes to their policies in order to improve this critical radio service.”

Matthew Bishop – US Marine Corps, Camp Lejeune, NC

“Congratulations on your 30th anniversary. Longevity in any business is a tricky proposition, but your firm seems to have mastered the process. Please allow me to congratulate you and your excellent staff on this momentous occasion and here’s wishing you continued success as you embark on your next 30 years.”

Larry Peterson – National Park Service
© 1983-2022 • Information Station Specialists, Inc. • All Rights Reserved
PO Box 51, Zeeland, Michigan, USA, 49464-0051, Phone 616.772.2300, Fax 616.772.2966, Email

• • •
Information Radio Stations is a generic term synonymous with Travelers Information Stations (TIS), Highway Advisory Radio Stations (HAR) / Highway Information Systems & Low Power Radio Stations (LPR). Operation of the stations is governed by FCC Part 90.242 Rules. A FCC license is required. Information Radio Stations may be fixed or portable. Subcomponents may include transmitter, antenna and ground system, digital voice player, wattmeter, cabinet with conventional or Corbin locks, lightning arrestors for RF, power and telephone lines, coaxial cable. Most stations employ black maximized antennas to discourage ice accumulation and security measures to prevent unauthorized program access. Options include synchronization, battery backup, solar power, remote programming by local, network or telco, multi-station audio distribution via RF or LAN / WAN or wireless network.