ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-622
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Route reference: Part 1 application posted on 4 July 2014
Ottawa, 2 December 2014
Cobequid Radio Society
Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia
Use of frequency 97.5 MHz by CIOE-FM Lower Sackville
The Commission approves the application by Cobequid Radio Society to change the frequency of the English-language community radio station CIOE-FM Lower Sackville. The application was submitted in response to the Commission’s directive set out in Broadcasting Decision 2014-279 to propose the use of a frequency other than 88.7 MHz.
Accordingly, CIOE-FM will be the first local service for the community of Lower Sackville.
- In Broadcasting Decision 2014-279, the Commission approved, in part, an application by Cobequid Radio Society (Cobequid) to operate an English-language community FM radio station in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia. As a condition of approval, it directed Cobequid to file, within 90 days of the date of that decision, an amendment application proposing the use of an FM frequency other than its proposed 88.7 MHz and related technical parameters.
- Consequently, Cobequid filed an application to change the frequency of CIOE-FMFootnote 1 from 88.7 MHz (channel 204A1) to 97.5 MHz (channel 248A1). All other technical parameters would remain unchanged.
Interventions and reply
- The Commission received interventions in support of this application. It also received an intervention opposing the application from Mr. Gordon Heffler, to which the applicant replied. The public record for this application can be found on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca or by using the application number provided above.
- In his intervention, Mr. Heffler claimed that in Broadcasting Decision 2013-723, the Commission denied an application by City Church Halifax to change the frequency of the low-power commercial specialty radio station CIRP-FM Halifax to 97.5 MHz, the same frequency as that now proposed by Cobequid, because City Church Halifax’s proposal for that frequency did not represent an appropriate use of spectrum. Mr. Heffler argued that Cobequid’s application should also be denied on the grounds that it did not represent an appropriate use of spectrum, given that Cobequid requested an effective radiated power (ERP) of 250 watts, which is lower than that proposed by City Church Halifax (454 watts).
- Cobequid replied that Mr. Heffler seemed to have ignored several other factors mentioned in the decision that led to the denial of City Church Halifax’s application and instead chose to focus solely on one. Cobequid consequently argued that Mr. Heffler’s misguided suggestion that the City Church Halifax and Cobequid applications share the same grounds for denial is unfounded, as the circumstances surrounding the two and their proposed utilization of the frequency are totally different.
- In addition, Cobequid indicated that a frequency search conducted by its engineer revealed that 97.5 MHz was the best of the remaining frequencies available to provide a quality FM service to CIOE-FM’s listeners. Cobequid also pointed out that while CIRP-FM had sought to operate at 97.5 MHz to expand its service contours, CIOE-FM’s technical parameters would remain the same as those approved by the Commission in Broadcasting Decision 2014-279. It added that its goal was not to encroach on the Halifax radio market, but to provide a local service to the outlying communities that it is licensed to serve.
- Finally, with regard to the claim of underuse of frequency 97.5 MHz, Cobequid submitted that to mitigate potential interference from adjacent-channel stations-which could affect 10,000 listeners-it considered increasing its technical parameters, but decided to maintain them to meet the Commission’s conditional terms of approval.
Commission’s analysis and decision
- The Commission notes that appropriate use of the spectrum was only one criterion applied to the denial of City Church Halifax’s application. In Broadcasting Decision 2013-723, the Commission also indicated that City Church Halifax had not presented compelling evidence that there were no other suitable alternatives to address its signal issues in its licensed service area, that the frequency requested would not meet its coverage objectives and that it appeared to be a back-door entry into the Halifax radio market.
- The Commission considers that Cobequid has demonstrated that it explored numerous alternative frequencies before determining that 97.5 MHz best meets its needs. While the parameters proposed by Cobequid do not make full use of the 97.5 MHz frequency, the Commission finds that it is the best available frequency to serve Lower Sackville and that it is not the last frequency available to serve the Halifax Metropolitan Area. Accordingly, the Commission is satisfied that the proposed frequency meets Cobequid’s objectives and that Cobequid will adhere to its commitment to provide a local service to Lower Sackville and surrounding areas, as approved in its licensing decision.
- In light of all of the above, the Commission approves the application by Cobequid Radio Society to amend the broadcasting licence for the English-language community radio programming undertaking CIOE-FM Lower Sackville to operate at 97.5 MHz (channel 248A1) with an ERP of 250 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 25.1 metres).
- The Commission reminds the licensee that pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, this authority will only be effective when the Department of Industry notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.
- Furthermore, the licence for this undertaking will be issued once the licensee has informed the Commission in writing that it is prepared to commence operations. The undertaking must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 24 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 2 December 2016. To ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted at least 60 days before this date.
- Community radio stations in Hubbards and Lower Sackville, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-279, 28 May 2014
- CIRP-FM Halifax - Licence amendment and technical change, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2013-723, 19 December 2013
*This decision is to be appended to the licence.
- Footnote 1
The station is set to launch under the call sign CIOE-FM.
- Date modified: