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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of January 22, 2020

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter CPart 73 → Subpart D


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 73—RADIO BROADCAST SERVICES


Subpart D—Noncommercial Educational FM Broadcast Stations


Contents
§73.501   Channels available for assignment.
§73.503   Licensing requirements and service.
§73.504   Channel assignments in the Mexican border area.
§73.505   Zones.
§73.506   Classes of noncommercial educational FM stations and channels.
§73.507   Minimum distance separations between stations.
§73.508   Standards of good engineering practice.
§73.509   Prohibited overlap.
§73.510   Antenna systems.
§73.511   Power and antenna height requirements.
§73.512   Special procedures applicable to Class D noncommercial educational stations.
§73.513   Noncommercial educational FM stations operating on unreserved channels.
§73.514   Protection from interference.
§73.515   NCE FM transmitter location.
§73.525   TV Channel 6 protection.
§73.558   Indicating instruments.
§73.561   Operating schedule; time sharing.
§73.567   Determining operating power.
§73.593   Subsidiary communications services.
§73.597   FM stereophonic sound broadcasting.
§73.599   NCE-FM engineering charts.

Source: 28 FR 13651, Dec. 14, 1963, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 72 FR 45692, Aug. 15, 2007.

§73.501   Channels available for assignment.

(a) The following frequencies, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, are available for noncommercial educational FM broadcasting:

Frequency (MHz)Channel No.
87.91200
88.1201
88.3202
88.5203
88.7204
88.9205
89.12206
89.3207
89.5208
89.7209
89.9210
90.1211
90.3212
90.5213
90.7214
90.9215
91.1216
91.3217
91.5218
91.7219
91.9220

1The frequency 87.9 MHz, Channel 200, is available only for use of existing Class D stations required to change frequency. It is available only on a noninterference basis with respect to TV Channel 6 stations and adjacent channel noncommercial educational FM stations. It is not available at all within 402 kilometers (250 miles) of Canada and 320 kilometers (199 miles) of Mexico. The specific standards governing its use are contained in §73.512.

2The frequency 89.1 MHz, Channel 206, in the New York City metropolitan area, is reserved for the use of the United Nations with the equivalent of an antenna height of 150 meters (492 feet) above average terrain and effective radiated power of 20 kW and the Commission will make no assignments which would cause objectionable interference with such use.

(b) In Alaska, FM broadcast stations operating on Channels 200-220 (87.9-91.9 MHz) shall not cause harmful interference to and must accept interference from non-Government fixed operations authorized prior to January 1, 1982.

(Secs. 4, 5, 303, 48 Stat., as amended, 1066, 1068, 1082 (47 U.S.C. 154, 155, 303))

[43 FR 39715, Sept. 6, 1978, as amended at 47 FR 30068, July 12, 1982; 52 FR 43765, Nov. 16, 1987; 58 FR 44950, Aug. 25, 1993]

§73.503   Licensing requirements and service.

The operation of, and the service furnished by noncommercial educational FM broadcast stations shall be governed by the following:

(a) A noncommercial educational FM broadcast station will be licensed only to a nonprofit educational organization and upon showing that the station will be used for the advancement of an educational program.

(1) In determining the eligibility of publicly supported educational organizations, the accreditation of their respective state departments of education shall be taken into consideration.

(2) In determining the eligibility of privately controlled educational organizations, the accreditation of state departments of education and/or recognized regional and national educational accrediting organizations shall be taken into consideration.

(b) Each station may transmit programs directed to specific schools in a system or systems for use in connection with the regular courses as well as routine and administrative material pertaining thereto and may transmit educational, cultural, and entertainment programs to the public.

(c) A noncommercial educational FM broadcast station may broadcast programs produced by, or at the expense of, or furnished by persons other than the licensee, if no other consideration than the furnishing of the program and the costs incidental to its production and broadcast are received by the licensee. The payment of line charges by another station network, or someone other than the licensee of a noncommercial educational FM broadcast station, or general contributions to the operating costs of a station, shall not be considered as being prohibited by this paragraph.

(d) Each station shall furnish a nonprofit and noncommercial broadcast service. Noncommercial educational FM broadcast stations are subject to the provisions of §73.1212 to the extent they are applicable to the broadcast of programs produced by, or at the expense of, or furnished by others. No promotional announcement on behalf of for profit entities shall be broadcast at any time in exchange for the receipt, in whole or in part, of consideration to the licensee, its principals, or employees. However, acknowledgements of contributions can be made. The scheduling of any announcements and acknowledgements may not interrupt regular programming, except as permitted under paragraph (e) of this section.

(e) A noncommercial educational FM broadcast station may interrupt regular programming to conduct fundraising activities on behalf of a third-party non-profit organization, provided that all such fundraising activities conducted during any given year do not exceed one percent of the station's total annual airtime. A station may use the prior year's total airtime for purposes of determining how many hours constitute one percent of its total annual airtime. With respect to stations that multicast programming on two or more separate channels, the one-percent annual limit will apply separately to each individual programming stream. For purposes of this paragraph, a non-profit organization is an entity that qualifies as a non-profit organization under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3).

(1) Audience disclosure. A noncommercial educational FM broadcast station that interrupts regular programming to conduct fundraising activities on behalf of a third-party non-profit organization must air a disclosure during such activities clearly stating that the fundraiser is not for the benefit of the station itself and identifying the entity for which it is fundraising. The station must air the audience disclosure at the beginning and the end of each fundraising program and at least once during each hour in which the program is on the air.

(2) Reimbursement. A noncommercial educational FM broadcast station that interrupts regular programming to conduct fundraising activities on behalf of a third-party non-profit organization may accept reimbursement of expenses incurred in conducting third-party fundraising activities or airing third-party fundraising programs.

(3) Exemption. No noncommercial educational FM broadcast station that receives funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting shall have the authority to interrupt regular programming to conduct fundraising activities on behalf of a third-party non-profit organization.

(f) Mutually exclusive applications for noncommercial educational radio stations operating on reserved channels will be resolved pursuant to the point system in subpart K.

Note to §73.503: Commission interpretation on this rule, including the acceptable form of acknowledgements, may be found in the Second Report and Order in Docket No. 21136 (Commission Policy Concerning the Noncommercial Nature of Educational Broadcast Stations), 86 FCC 2d 141 (1981); the Memorandum Opinion and Order in Docket No. 21136, 90 FCC 2d 895 (1982); the Memorandum Opinion and Order in Docket 21136, 97 FCC 2d 255 (1984); and the Report and Order in Docket No. 12-106 (Noncommercial Educational Station Fundraising for Third-Party Non-Profit Organizations), FCC 17-41, April 20, 2017. See also Commission Policy Concerning the Noncommercial Nature of Educational Broadcast Stations, Public Notice, 7 FCC Rcd 827 (1992), which can be retrieved through the Internet at http://www.fcc.gov/mmb/asd/nature.html.

(Secs. 4, 5, 303, 48 Stat., as amended, 1066, 1068, 1082 (47 U.S.C. 154, 155, 303))

[28 FR 13651, Dec. 14, 1963, as amended at 35 FR 7558, May 15, 1970; 47 FR 36178, Aug. 19, 1982; 49 FR 29069, July 18, 1984; 63 FR 33877, June 22, 1998; 65 FR 36378, June 8, 2000; 82 FR 21135, May 5, 2017]

§73.504   Channel assignments in the Mexican border area.

(a) NCE-FM stations within 199 miles (320 km) of the United States-Mexican border shall comply with the separation requirements and other provisions of the “Agreement between the United States of America and the United Mexican States Concerning Frequency Modulation Broadcasting in the 88 to 108 MHz Band” as amended.

(b) Applicants for noncommercial educational FM stations within 199 miles (320 km) of the United States-Mexican border shall propose at least Class A minimum facilities (see §73.211(a)). However, existing Class D noncommercial educational stations may apply to change frequency within the educational portion of the FM band in accordance with the requirements set forth in §73.512.

(c) Section 73.208 of this chapter shall be complied with as to the determination of reference points and distance computations used in applications for new or changed facilities. However, if it is necessary to consider a Mexican channel assignment or authorization, the computation of distance will be determined as follows: if a transmitter site has been established, on the basis of the coordinates of the site; if a transmitter site has not been established, on the basis of the reference coordinates of the community, town, or city.

[52 FR 43765, Nov. 16, 1987]

§73.505   Zones.

For the purpose of assignment of noncommercial educational FM stations, the United States is divided into three zones, Zone I, Zone I-A, and Zone II, having the boundaries specified in §73.205.

[42 FR 36828, July 18, 1977]

§73.506   Classes of noncommercial educational FM stations and channels.

(a) Noncommercial educational stations operating on the channels specified in §73.501 are divided into the following classes:

(1) A Class D educational station is one operating with no more than 10 watts transmitter power output.

(2) A Class D educational (secondary) station is one operating with no more than 10 watts transmitter power output in accordance with the terms of §73.512 or which has elected to follow these requirements before they become applicable under the terms of §73.512.

(3) Noncommercial educational FM (NCE-FM) stations with more than 10 watts transmitter power output are classified as Class A, B1, B, C3, C2, C1, or C depending on the station's effective radiated power and antenna height above average terrain, and on the zone in which the station's transmitter is located, on the same basis as set forth in §§73.210 and 73.211 for commercial stations.

(b) Any noncommercial educational station except Class D may be assigned to any of the channels listed in §73.501. Class D noncommercial educational FM stations applied for or authorized prior to June 1, 1980, may continue to operate on their authorized channels subject to the provisions of §73.512.

[43 FR 39715, Sept. 6, 1978, as amended at 49 FR 10264, Mar. 20, 1984; 52 FR 47569, Dec. 15, 1987; 54 FR 16367, Apr. 24, 1989; 54 FR 19374, May 5, 1989]

§73.507   Minimum distance separations between stations.

(a) Minimum distance separations. No application for a new station, or change in channel or transmitter site or increase in facilities of an existing station, will be granted unless the proposed facilities will be located so as to meet the adjacent channel distance separations specified in §73.207(a) for the class of station involved with respect to assignment on Channels 221, 222, and 223 listed in §73.201 (except where in the case of an existing station the proposed facilities fall within the provisions of §73.207(b)), or where a Class D station is changing frequency to comply with the requirements of §73.512.

(b) Stations authorized as of September 10, 1962, which do not meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section and §73.511, may continue to operate as authorized; but any application to change facilities will be subject to the provisions of this section.

(c)(1) Stations separated in frequency by 10.6 or 10.8 MHz (53 or 54 channels) from allotments or assignments on non-reserved channels will not be authorized unless they conform to the separations in Table A given in §73.207.

(2) Under the United States-Mexican FM Broadcasting Agreement, for stations and assignments differing in frequency by 10.6 to 10.8 MHz (53 or 54 channels), U.S. noncommercial educational FM allotments and assignments must meet the separations given in Table C of §73.207 to Mexican allotments or assignments in the border area.

(Secs. 4, 5, 303, 48 Stat., as amended, 1066, 1068, 1082 (47 U.S.C. 154, 155, 303))

[42 FR 36828, July 18, 1977, as amended at 43 FR 39716, Sept. 6, 1978; 44 FR 65764, Nov. 15, 1979; 49 FR 10264, Mar. 20, 1984; 49 FR 19670, May 9, 1984]

§73.508   Standards of good engineering practice.

(a) All noncommercial educational stations and LPFM stations operating with more than 10 watts transmitter power output shall be subject to all of the provisions of the FM Technical Standards contained in subpart B of this part. Class D educational stations and LPFM stations operating with 10 watts or less transmitter output power shall be subject to the definitions contained in §73.310, and also to those other provisions of the FM Technical Standards which are specifically made applicable to them by the provisions of this subpart.

(b) The transmitter and associated transmitting equipment of each noncommercial educational FM station and LPFM station licensed for transmitter power output above 10 watts must be designed, constructed and operated in accordance with §73.317.

(c) The transmitter and associated transmitting equipment of each noncommercial educational FM station licensed for transmitter power output of 10 watts or less, although not required to meet all requirements of §73.317, must be constructed with the safety provisions of the current national electrical code as approved by the American National Standards Institute. These stations must be operated, tuned, and adjusted so that emissions are not radiated outside the authorized band causing or which are capable of causing interference to the communications of other stations. The audio distortion, audio frequency range, carrier hum, noise level, and other essential phases of the operation which control the external effects, must be at all times capable of providing satisfactory broadcast service. Studio equipment properly covered by an underwriter's certificate will be considered as satisfying safety requirements.

[65 FR 7640, Feb. 15, 2000]

§73.509   Prohibited overlap.

(a) An application for a new or modified NCE-FM station other than a Class D (secondary) station will not be accepted if the proposed operation would involve overlap of signal strength contours with any other station licensed by the Commission and operating in the reserved band (Channels 200-220, inclusive) as set forth below:

Frequency separation Contour of proposed station Contour of other station
Co-channel0.1mV/m (40 dBu)
1 mV/m (60 dBu)
1 mV/m (60 dBu)
0.1 mV/m (40 dBu)
200 kHz0.5 mV/m (54 dBu)
1 mV/m (60 dBu)1
1 mV/m (60 dBu)
0.5 mV/m (54 dBu)
400 kHz/600 kHz100 mV/m (100 dBu)
1 mV/m (60 dBu)
1 mV/m (60 dBu)
100 mV/m (100 dBu)

(b) An application by a Class D (secondary) station, other than an application to change class, will not be accepted if the proposed operation would involve overlap of signal strength contours with any other station as set forth below:

Frequency separationContour of proposed stationContour of any other station
Co-channel0.1 mV/m (40 dBu)1 mV/m (60 dBu).
200 kHz0.5 mV/m (54 dBu)1 mV/m (60 dBu).
400 kHz10 mV/m (80 dBu)1 mV/m (60 dBu).
600 kHz100 mV/m (100 dBu)1 mV/m (60 dBu).

(c) The following standards must be used to compute the distances to the pertinent contours:

(1) The distance of the 60 dBu (1 mV/m) contours are to be computed using Figure 1 of §73.333 [F(50,50) curves] of this part.

(2) The distance to the other contours are to be computed using Figure 1a of §73.333 [F(50,10) curves]. In the event that the distance to the contour is below 16 kilometers (approximately 10 miles), and therefore not covered by Figure 1a, curves in Figure 1 must be used.

(3) The effective radiated power (ERP) that is the maximum ERP for any elevation plane on any bearing will be used.

(d) An application for a change (other than a change in channel) in the facilities of a NCE-FM broadcast station will be accepted even though overlap of signal strength contours, as specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, would occur with another station in an area where such overlap does not already exists, if:

(1) The total area of overlap with that station would not be increased;

(2) The area of overlap with any other station would not increase;

(3) The area of overlap does not move significantly closer to the station receiving the overlap; and,

(4) No area of overlap would be created with any station with which the overlap does not now exist.

(e) The provisions of this section concerning prohibited overlap will not apply where the area of such overlap lies entirely over water.

[50 FR 27962, July 9, 1985, as amended at 52 FR 43765, Nov. 16, 1987; 65 FR 79778, Dec. 20, 2000]

§73.510   Antenna systems.

(a) All noncommercial educational stations operating with more than 10 watts transmitter output power shall be subject to the provisions of §73.316 concerning antenna systems contained in subpart B of this part.

(b) Directional antenna. No application for a construction permit of a new station, or change in channel, or change in an existing facility on the same channel will be accepted for filing if a directional antenna with a maximum-to-minimum ratio of more than 15 dB is proposed.

[42 FR 36829, July 18, 1977]

§73.511   Power and antenna height requirements.

(a) No new noncommercial educational station will be authorized with less power than minimum power requirements for commercial Class A facilities. (See §73.211.)

(b) No new noncommercial educational FM station will be authorized with facilities greater than Class B in Zones I and I-A or Class C in Zone II, as defined in §73.211.

(c) Stations licensed before December 31, 1984, and operating above 50 kW in Zones I and I-A, and above 100 kW and in Zone II may continue to operate as authorized.

[50 FR 27963, July 9, 1985, as amended at 50 FR 31379, Aug. 2, 1985; 54 FR 3602, Jan. 25, 1989]

§73.512   Special procedures applicable to Class D noncommercial educational stations.

(a) All Class D stations seeking renewal of license for any term expiring June 1, 1980, or thereafter shall comply with the requirements set forth below and shall simultaneously file an application on FCC Form 340, containing full information regarding such compliance with the provisions set forth below.

(1) To the extent possible, each applicant shall select a commercial FM channel on which it proposes to operate in lieu of the station's present channel. The station may select any commercial channel provided no objectionable interference, as set forth in §73.509(b), would be caused. The application shall include the same engineering information as is required to change the frequency of an existing station and any other information necessary to establish the fact that objectionable interference would not result. If no commerical channel is available where the station could operate without causing such interference, the application shall set forth the basis upon which this conclusion was reached.

(2) If a commercial channel is unavailable, to the extent possible each applicant should propose operation on Channel 200 (87.9 MHz) unless the station would be within 402 kilometers (250 miles) of the Canadian border or 320 kilometers (199 miles) of the Mexican border or would cause interference to an FM station operating on Channels 201, 202, or 203 or to TV Channel 6, as provided in §73.509.

(3) If a channel is not available under either paragraph (a) (1) or (2) of this section, the renewal applicant shall study all 20 noncommercial educational FM channels and shall propose operation on the channel which would cause the least preclusion to the establishment of new stations or increases in power by existing stations. Full information regarding the basis for the selection should be provided.

(b) At any time before the requirements of paragraph (a) become effective, any existing Class D station may file a construction permit application on FCC Form 340 to change channel in the manner described above which shall be subject to the same requirements. In either case, any license granted shall specify that the station's license is for a Class D (secondary) station.

(c) Except in Alaska, no new Class D applications nor major change applications by existing Class D stations are acceptable for filing except by existing Class D stations seeking to change frequency. Upon the grant of such application, the station shall become a Class D (secondary) station.

(d) Class D noncommercial educational (secondary) stations (see §73.506(a)(2)) will be permitted to continue to operate only so long as no interference (as defined in §73.509) is caused to any TV or commercial FM broadcast stations. In the event that the Class D (secondary) station would cause interference to a TV or commercial FM broadcast station after that Class D (secondary) station is authorized, the Class D (secondary) station must cease operation when program tests for the TV or commercial FM broadcast station commence. The Class D (secondary) station may apply for a construction permit (see §73.3533) to change to another frequency or antenna site where it would not cause interference (as defined in §73.509). If the Class D (secondary) station must cease operation before the construction permit is granted, an application for temporary authorization (pursuant to §73.3542) to operate with the proposed facilities may be submitted; where appropriate, such temporary authorization can be granted.

[43 FR 39716, Sept. 6, 1978, as amended at 44 FR 48226, Aug. 17, 1979; 47 FR 28388, June 30, 1982; 50 FR 8326, Mar. 1, 1985]

§73.513   Noncommercial educational FM stations operating on unreserved channels.

(a) Noncommercial educational FM stations other than Class D (secondary) which operate on Channels 221 through 300 but which comply with §73.503 as to licensing requirements and the nature of the service rendered, must comply with the provisions of the following sections of subpart B: §§73.201 through 73.213 (Classification of FM Broadcast Stations and Allocations of Frequencies) and such other sections of subpart B as are made specially applicable by the provisions of this subpart C. Stations in Alaska authorized before August 11, 1982, using Channels 261-300 need not meet the minimum effective radiated power requirement specified in §73.211(a). In all other respects, stations operating on Channels 221 through 300 are to be governed by the provisions of this subpart and not subpart B.

(b) When a noncommercial educational applicant is among mutually exclusive applications for an unreserved FM channel, the mutually exclusive applications will be considered pursuant to Subpart I—Competitive Bidding Procedures and not Subpart K—Application and Selection Procedures On Reserved Noncommercial Educational Channels.

[47 FR 30068, July 12, 1982, as amended at 65 FR 36378, June 8, 2000]

§73.514   Protection from interference.

Permittees and licensees of NCE FM stations are not protected from interference which may be caused by the grant of a new LPFM station or of authority to modify an existing LPFM station, except as provided in subpart G of this part.

[65 FR 67299, Nov. 9, 2000]

§73.515   NCE FM transmitter location.

The transmitter location shall be chosen so that, on the basis of effective radiated power and antenna height above average terrain employed, a minimum field strength of l mV/m (60 dBu) will be provided over at least 50 percent of its community of license or reach 50 percent of the population within the community.

[65 FR 79779, Dec. 20, 2000]

§73.525   TV Channel 6 protection.

The provisions of this section apply to all applications for construction permits for new or modified facilities for a NCE-FM station on Channels 200-220 unless the application is accompanied by a written agreement between the NCE-FM applicant and each affected TV Channel 6 broadcast station concurring with the proposed NCE-FM facilities.

(a) Affected TV Channel 6 station. (1) An affected TV Channel 6 station is a TV broadcast station which is authorized to operate on Channel 6 that is located within the following distances of a NCE-FM station operating on Channels 201-220:

Table A

NCE-FM channelDistance (kilometers)NCE-FM channelDistance (kilometers)
201265211196
202257212195
203246213193
204235214187
205225215180
206211216177
207196217174
208196218166
209196219159
210196220154

(2) Where a NCE-FM application has been accepted for filing or granted, the subsequent acceptance of an application filed by a relevant TV Channel 6 station will not require revision of the pending NCE-FM application or the FM station's authorized facilities, unless the provisions of paragraph (e)(3) of this section for TV translator or satellite stations apply.

(b) Existing NCE-FM stations. (1) A NCE-FM station license authorized to operate on channels 201-220 as of December 31, 1984, or a permittee, granted a construction permit for a NCE-FM station as of December 31, 1984, are not subject to this section unless they propose either:

(i) To make changes in operating facilities or location which will increase predicted interference as calculated under paragraph (e) of this section to TV Channel 6 reception in any direction; or,

(ii) To increase its ratio of vertically polarized to horizontally polarized transmissions.

(2) Applicants must comply with the provision of paragraphs (c) or (d) of this section unless the application for modification demonstrates that, for each person predicted to receive new interference as a result of the change, existing predicted interference to two person will be eliminated. Persons predicted to receive new interference are those located outside the area predicted to receive interference from the station's currently authorized facilities (“existing predicted interference area”) but within the area predicted to receive interference from the proposed facilities (“proposed predicted interference area”). Persons for whom predicted interference will be eliminated are those located within the existing predicted interference area and outside the proposed predicted interference area.

(i) In making this calculation, the provisions contained at paragraph (e) will be used except as modified by paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

(ii) The following adjustment to the population calculation may be made: up to 1,000 persons may be subtracted from the population predicted to receive new interference if, for each person substracted, the applicant effectively installs two filters within 90 days after commencing program tests with the proposed facilities and, no later than 45 days thereafter, provides the affected TV Channel 6 station (as defined in paragraph (a) of this section) with a certification containing sufficient information to permit verification of such installation. The required number of filters will be installed on television receivers located within the predicted interference area; provided that half of the installations are within the area predicted to receive new interference.

(3) Where an NCE-FM applicant wishes to operate with facilities in excess of that permitted under the provisions of paragraphs (c) or (d) of this section, by proposing to use vertically polarized transmissions only, or to increase its ratio of vertically to horizontally polarized transmissions, the affected TV Channel 6 station must be given an option to pay for the required antenna and, if it takes that option, the NCE-FM vertically polarized component of power will be one half (−3 dB) that which would be allowed by the provisions of paragraph (e)(4) of this section.

(4) Applications for modification will include a certification that the applicant has given early written notice of the proposed modification to all affected TV Channel 6 stations (as defined in paragraph (a) of this section).

(5) Where the NCE-FM station demonstrates in its application that it must make an involuntary modification (e.g., due to loss of its transmitter site) that would not otherwise be permitted under this section, its application will be considered on a case-by-case basis. In such cases, the provisions of paragaph (b)(3) of this section do not apply.

(c) New NCE-FM stations. Except as provided for by paragraph (d) of this section, applicants for NCE-FM stations proposing to operate on Channels 201-220 must submit a showing indicating that the predicted interference area resulting from the proposed facility contains no more than 3,000 persons.

(1) In making these calculations, the provisions in paragraph (e) of this section will be used.

(2) The following adjustment to population may be made: up to 1,000 persons may be subtracted from the population within the predicted interference area if, for each person subtracted, the applicant effectively installs one filter within 90 days after commencing program tests and, no later than 45 days thereafter, provides the affected TV Channel 6 station with a certification containing sufficient information to permit verification of such installation. The required number of filters will be installed on television receivers located within the predicted interference area.

(d) Collocated stations. As an alternative to the provisions contained in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, an application for a NCE-FM station operating on Channels 201-220 and located at 0.4 kilometer (approximately 0.25 mile) or less from a TV Channel 6 station will be accepted under the following requirements:

(1) The effective radiated power cannot exceed the following values:

Table B

NCE-FM channelPower (kilowatt)NCE-FM channelPower (kilowatt)
2011.121126.3
2021.921231.6
2033.121338.0
2045.021446.8
2058.321556.2
20610.021667.6
20712.021783.2
20814.8218100.0
20917.8219100.0
21021.4220100.0

(2) The NCE-FM application will include a certification that the applicant has coordinated its antenna with the affected TV station by employing either: The same number of antenna bays with radiation centers separated by no more than 30 meters (approximately 100 feet) verticially; or, the FM vertical pattern not exceeding the TV vertical pattern by more than 2dB.

(e) Calculation of predicted interference area and population. Predictions of interference required under this section and calculations to determine the number of persons within a predicted interference area for NCE-FM operation on Channels 201-220 are made as follows:

(1) The predicted interference area will be calculated as follows:

(i) The distances to the TV Channel 6 field strength contours will be predicted according to the procedures specified in §73.684, “Prediction of coverage,” using the F(50,50) curves in Figure 9, §73.699.

(ii) For each TV Channel 6 field strength contour, there will be an associated F(50,10) FM interference contour, the value of which (in units of dBu) is defined as the sum of the TV Channel 6 field strength (in dBu) and the appropriate undesired-to-desired (U/D) signal ratio (in dB) obtained from Figures 1 and 2, §73.599, corresponding to the channel of the NCE-FM applicant and the appropriate F(50,50) field strength contour of the TV Channel 6 station.

(iii) An adjustment of 6 dB for television receiving antenna directivity will be added to each NCE-FM interference contour at all points outside the Grade A field strength contour (§73.683) of the TV Channel 6 station and within an arc defined by the range of angles, of which the FM transmitter site is the vertex, from 110° relative to the azimuth from the FM transmitter site to the TV Channel 6 transmitter site, counterclockwise to 250° relative to that azimuth. At all points at and within the Grade A field strength contour of the TV Channel 6 station, the 6 dB adjustment is applicable over the range of angles from 70° clockwise to 110° and from 250° clockwise to 290°.

(iv) The distances to the applicable NCE-FM interference contours will be predicted according to the procedures specified in §73.313, “Prediction of Coverage,” using the proposed antenna height and horizontally polarized, or the horizontal equivalent of the vertically polarized, effective radiated power in the pertinent direction and the F(50,10) field strength curves (Figure 1a, §73.333).

(v) The predicted interference area will be defined as the area within the TV Channel 6 station's 47 dBu field strength contour that is bounded by the locus of intersections of a series of TV Channel 6 field strength contours and the applicable NCE-FM interference contours.

(vi) In cases where the terrain in one or more directions departs widely from the surrounding terrain average (for example, an intervening mountain), a supplemental showing may be made. Such supplemental showings must describe the procedure used and should include sample calculations. The application must also include maps indicating the predicted interference area for both the regular method and the supplemental method.

(vii) In cases where the predicted interference area to Channel 6 television from a noncommercial educational FM station will be located within the 90 dBu F(50,50) contour of the television Channel 6 station, the location of the FM interfering contour must be determined using the assumption that the Channel 6 field strength remains constant at 90 dBu everywhere within the 90 dBu TV contour. The FM to Channel 6 U/D signal strength ratio specified in §73.599 corresponding to the Channel 6 TV field strength of 90 dBu shall be used.

(2) The number of persons contained within the predicted interference area will be based on data contained in the most recently published U.S. Census of Population and will be determined by plotting the predicted interference area on a County Subdivision Map of the state published for the Census, and totalling the number of persons in each County Subdivision (such as, Minor Civil Division (MCD), Census County Division (CCD), or equivalent areas) contained within the predicted interference area. Where only a portion of County Subdivision is contained within the interference area:

(i) The population of all incorporated places or Census designated places will be subtracted from the County Subdivision population;

(ii) Uniform distribution of the remaining population over the remaining area of the County Subdivision will be assumed in determining the number of persons within the predicted interference area in proportion to the share of the remaining area of the County Subdivision that lies within the predicted interference area; and,

(iii) The population of the incorporated places or Census designated places contained within the predicted interference area will then be added to the total, again assuming uniform distribution of the population within the area of each place and adding a share of the population proportional to the share of the area if only a portion of such a place is within the predicted interference area.

(iv) At the option of either the NCE-FM applicant or an affected TV Channel 6 station which provides the appropriate analysis, more detailed population data may be used.

(3) Adjustments to the population calculated pursuant to paragraph (e)(2) of this section may be made as follows:

(i) If any part of the predicted interference area is within the Grade A field strength contour (§73.683) of a TV translator station carrying the affected TV Channel 6 station, the number of persons within that overlap area will be subtracted, provided the NCE-FM construction permit and license will contain the following conditions:

(A) When the TV translator station ceases to carry the affected TV Channel 6 station's service and the cessation is not the choice of the affected TV Channel 6 station, the NCE-FM station will modify its facilities, within a reasonable transition period, to meet the requirements of this section which would have applied if no adjustment to population for translator service had been made in its application.

(B) The transition period may not exceed 1 year from the date the NCE-FM station is notified by the TV Channel 6 station that the translator station will cease to carry the affected TV Channel 6 station's service or 6 months after the translator station ceases to carry the affected TV Channel 6 station's service, whichever is earlier.

(ii) If any part of the interference area is within the Grade B field strength contour (§73.683) of a satellite station of the affected TV Channel 6 station, the number of persons within the overlap area will be subtracted, provided the NCE-FM permit and license will contain the following conditions:

(A) If the satellite station ceases to carry the affected TV Channel 6 station's service and the cessation is not the choice of the affected TV Channel 6 station, the NCE-FM station will modify its facilities, within a reasonable transition period, to meet the requirements of this rule which would have applied if no adjustment to population for satellite station service had been made in its application.

(B) The transition period may not exceed 1 year from the date the NCE-FM station is notified by the TV Channel 6 station that the satellite station will cease to carry the affected TV Channel 6 stations's service or 6 months after the satellite station ceases to carry the affected TV Channel 6 station's service, whichever is earlier.

(iii) If any part of the predicted interference area is located outside the affected TV Channel 6 station's Area of Dominant Influence (ADI), outside the Grade A field strength contour (§73.683), and within the predicted city grade field strength contour (73.685(a)) of a TV broadcast station whose only network affiliation is the same as the only network affiliation of the affected TV Channel 6 station, the number of persons within that part will be subtracted. (For purposes of this provision, a network is defined as ABC, CBS, NBC, or their successors.) In addition, the ADI of an affected TV Channel 6 station and the program network affiliations of all relevant TV broadcast stations will be assumed to be as they were on the filing date of the NCE-FM application or June 1, 1985, whichever is later.

(iv) In calculating the population within the predicted interference area, an exception will be permitted upon a showing (e.g., as survey of actual television reception) that the number of persons within the predicted interference area should be reduced to account for persons actually experiencing co-channel or adjacent channel interference to reception of the affected TV Channel 6 station. The area within which such a showing may be made will be limited to the area calculated as follows:

(A) The distances to the field strength contours of the affected TV Channel 6 station will be predicted according to the procedures specified in §73.684, “Prediction of coverage,” using the F(50,50) curves in Figure 9, §73.699.

(B) For each field strength contour of the affected TV Channel 6 station, there will be an associated co-channel or adjacent channel TV broadcast station interference contour, the value of which (in units of dBu) is defined as the sum of the affected TV Channel 6 station's field strength (in dBu) and the appropriate undesired-to-desired signal ratio (in dB) as follows:

Co-channel, normal offset, −22 dB

Co-channel, no offset, −39 dB

Adjacent channel, + 12 dB

(C) The distances to the associated co-channel or adjacent channel TV broadcast station interference contour will be predicted according to the procedures specified in §73.684, “Prediction of coverage,” using the F(50,10) curves in Figure 9a, §73.699.

(D) The area within which the showing of actual interference may be made will be the area bounded by the locus of intersections of a series of the affected TV Channel 6 station's field strength contours and the associated interference contours of the co-channel or adjacent channel TV broadcast station.

(4) The maximum permissible effective radiated power (ERP) and antenna height may be adjusted for vertical polarity as follows:

(i) If the applicant chooses to use vertically polarized transmissions only, the maximum permissible vertically polarized ERP will be the maximum horizontally polarized ERP permissible at the same proposed antenna height, calculated without the adjustment for television receiving antenna directivity specified in paragraph (e)(1)(iii) of this section, multiplied by either: 40 if the predicted interference area lies entirely outside the limits of a city of 50,000 persons or more; or 10 if it does not.

(ii) If the applicant chooses to use mixed polarity, the permissible ERP is as follows:

[H + (V/A)] is no greater than P

Where:

H is the horizontally polarized ERP in kilowatts for mixed polarity;

V is the vertically polarized ERP in kilowatts for mixed polarity;

A is 40 if the predicted interference area lies entirely outside the limits of a city of 50,000 persons or more, or 10 if it does not; and

P is the maximum permitted horizontally polarized-only power in kilowatts.

(f) Channel 200 Applications. No application for use of NCE-FM Channel 200 will be accepted if the requested facility would cause objectionable interference to TV Channel 6 operations. Such objectionable interference will be considered to exist whenever the 15 dBu contour based on the F(50,10) curves in §73.333 Figure 1a would overlap the 40 dBu contour based on the F(50,50) curves in §73.699, Figure 9.

[50 FR 27963, July 9, 1985; 50 FR 30187, July 24, 1985; 50 FR 31379, Aug. 2, 1985, as amended at 51 FR 26250, July 22, 1986; 52 FR 25867, July 9, 1987; 62 FR 51059, Sept. 30, 1997]

§73.558   Indicating instruments.

The requirements for indicating instruments described in §73.258 are applicable to all educational FM broadcast stations licensed with a transmitter power greater than 0.01 kw.

[51 FR 17029, May 8, 1986]

§73.561   Operating schedule; time sharing.

(a) All noncommercial educational FM stations will be licensed for unlimited time operation except those stations operating under a time sharing arrangement. All noncommercial educational FM stations are required to operate at least 36 hours per week, consisting of at least 5 hours of operation per day on at least 6 days of the week; however, stations licensed to educational institutions are not required to operate on Saturday or Sunday or to observe the minimum operating requirements during those days designated on the official school calendar as vacation or recess periods.

(b) All stations, including those meeting the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, but which do not operate 12 hours per day each day of the year, will be required to share use of the frequency upon the grant of an appropriate application proposing such share time arrangement. Such applications shall set forth the intent to share time and shall be filed in the same manner as are applications for new stations. They may be filed at any time, but in cases where the parties are unable to agree on time sharing, action on the application will be taken only in connection with the renewal of application for the existing station. In order to be considered for this purpose, such an application to share time must be filed no later than the deadline for filing petitions to deny the renewal application of the existing licensee, or, in the case of renewal applications filed by the existing licensee on or before May 1, 1995, no later than the deadline for filing applications in conflict with the such renewal applications.

(1) The licensee and the prospective licensee(s) shall endeavor to reach an agreement for a definite schedule of periods of time to be used by each. Such agreement shall be in writing and shall set forth which licensee is to operate on each of the hours of the day throughout the year. Such agreement shall not include simultaneous operation of the stations. Each licensee shall file the same in triplicate with each application to the Commission for initial construction permit or renewal of license. Such written agreements shall become part of the terms of each station's license.

(2) The Commission desires to facilitate the reaching of agreements on time sharing. However, if the licensees of stations authorized to share time are unable to agree on a division of time, the Commission shall be so notified by statement to that effect filed with the application proposing time sharing. Thereafter the Commission will designate the application for hearing on any qualification issues arising regarding the renewal or new applicants. If no such issues pertain, the Commission will set the matter for expedited hearing limited solely to the issue of the sharing of time. In the event the stations have been operating under a time sharing agreement but cannot agree on its continuation, a hearing will be held, and pending such hearing, the operating schedule previously adhered to shall remain in full force and effect.

(c) A departure from the regular schedule set forth in a time-sharing agreement will be permitted only in cases where a written agreement to that effect is reduced to writing, is signed by the licensees of the stations affected thereby, and is filed in triplicate by each licensee with the Commission, Attention: Audio Division, Media Bureau, prior to the time of the proposed change. If time is of the essence, the actual departure in operating schedule may precede the actual filing of the written agreement, provided that appropriate notice is sent to the Commission in Washington, DC, Attention: Audio Division, Media Bureau.

(d) In the event that causes beyond the control of a permittee or licensee make it impossible to adhere to the operating schedule in paragraph (a) or (b) of this section or to continue operating, the station may limit or discontinue operation for a period not exceeding 30 days without further authority from the Commission provided that notification is sent to the Commission in Washington, DC, Attention: Audio Division, Media Bureau, no later than the 10th day of limited or discontinued operation. During such period, the permittee shall continue to adhere to the requirements of the station license pertaining to the lighting of antenna structures. In the event normal operation is restored prior to the expiration of the 30 day period, the permittee or licensee will notify the FCC, Attention: Audio Division of the date that normal operations resumed. If causes beyond the control of the permittee or licensee make it impossible to comply within the allowed period, Special Temporary Authority (see §73.1635) must be requested to remain silent for such additional time as deemed necessary. The license of a broadcasting station that fails to transmit broadcast signals for any consecutive 12 month period expires as a matter of law at the end of that period, notwithstanding any provision, term, or condition of license to the contrary.

Note 1 to §73.561: For allocations purposes, both (all) stations sharing time will be treated as unlimited time stations.

Note 2 to §73.561: See §§73.1705, 73.1715, and 73.1740.

(Secs. 4, 5, 303, 48 Stat., as amended, 1066, 1068, 1082 (47 U.S.C. 154, 155, 303))

[43 FR 39717, Sept. 6, 1978, as amended at 43 FR 45845, Oct. 4, 1978; 44 FR 3416, Jan. 19, 1979; 44 FR 65764, Nov. 15, 1979; 47 FR 54448, Dec. 3, 1982; 50 FR 13974, Apr. 9, 1985; 61 FR 18291, Apr. 25, 1996; 61 FR 28767, June 6, 1996; 63 FR 33877, June 22, 1998; 67 FR 13231, Mar. 21, 2002]

§73.567   Determining operating power.

The procedures for determining operating power described in §73.267 are applicable to noncommercial education FM stations.

[44 FR 58732, Oct. 11, 1979]

§73.593   Subsidiary communications services.

The licensee of a noncommercial educational FM station is not required to use its subcarrier capacity, but if it chooses to do so, it is governed by §§73.293 through 73.295 of the Commission's Rules regarding the types of permissible subcarrier uses and the manner in which subcarrier operations shall be conducted; Provided, however, that remunerative use of a station's subcarrier capacity shall not be detrimental to the provision of existing or potential radio reading services for the blind or otherwise inconsistent with its public broadcasting responsibilities.

[48 FR 26615, June 9, 1983]

§73.597   FM stereophonic sound broadcasting.

A noncommercial educational FM broadcast station may, without specific authority from the FCC, transmit stereophonic sound programs upon installation of stereophonic sound transmitting equipment under the provisions of §§2.977, 2.1001, 73.322, and 73.1590 of the FCC's Rules.

[51 FR 17029, May 8, 1986]

§73.599   NCE-FM engineering charts.

This section consists of the following Figures 1 and 2.

eCFR graphic ec01mr91.091.gif

View or download PDF

eCFR graphic ec01mr91.092.gif

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[50 FR 27965, July 9, 1985]

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