Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2016-189
Reference: Part 1 application posted on 24 April 2015
Ottawa, 18 May 2016
Erin Community Radio
CHES-FM Erin – Licence amendment and technical changes
The Commission approves an application to amend the broadcasting licence and change the authorized contours for the English-language community FM radio station CHES-FM Erin by changing its frequency from 88.1 to 91.7 MHz and increasing its power.
- Erin Community Radio (Erin Radio) filed an application to amend the broadcasting licence and change the authorized contours for the English-language community FM radio station CHES-FM Erin by changing its frequency from 88.1 MHz (channel 201A) to 91.7 MHz (channel 219A) and increasing its average effective radiated power (ERP) from 570 to 850 watts (maximum ERP from 1,250 to 2,500 watts).
- Erin Radio stated that these changes were necessary for both technical and economic reasons. Specifically, it stated that due to the protection requirements on its current frequency the station's contours are not optimized towards its primary market, resulting in about 40% of its market not being served and difficulty in selling advertising.
Interventions and applicant's reply
- The Commission received interventions supporting the application, as well as a comment by an individual expressing concern that the proposed frequency might create interference with other stations in Welland and Kitchener and proposing alternative frequencies. 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 reply to the comment, Erin Radio indicated that its engineering study showed that the interference level with other stations would be much lower on the requested frequency and that the other frequencies proposed by the individual could not be used due to the regulations of the Department of Industry (the Department) regarding protected frequencies. Erin Radio added that although the proposed technical solution was not perfect, it would greatly enhance CHES-FM's coverage of its primary market.
- After examining the public record for this application in light of applicable regulations and policies, the Commission considers that the issues to be addressed are the following:
- whether the licensee provided evidence of an economic or technical need justifying the proposed changes;
- whether the technical solution is appropriate; and
- whether the amendment would result in an undue impact on existing stations.
Technical and economic need
- When a licensee files an application to change its authorized contours, including its frequency, the Commission expects it to demonstrate a compelling technical or economic need justifying the proposed technical changes.
- In this case, Erin Radio stated that due to CHES-FM's low signal levels and co-channel interference its signal was not usable over 40% of the town of Erin. In addition, the station's antenna pattern was optimized to protect adjacent channel stations rather than to cover most of the town, resulting in reception issues that are likely exacerbated by the hilly terrain of the region.
- The studies submitted by the licensee in support of its application show that low signal levels combined with co-channel interference cause reception issues with CHES-FM's signal in the southwest and western part of the town of Erin.
- The licensee also submitted that the technical issues make it difficult to sell advertising and that a change in frequency that allowed a better coverage of the town of Erin would enable the station to increase its advertising revenue.
- In light of the above, the Commission is of the view that Erin Radio has demonstrated a compelling technical and economic need for the proposed changes.
- The proposal would result in an increase in CHES-FM's interference-free coverage zone to the north and south of the town of Erin. In addition, compared to its existing service contour, the proposed primary service contour would more fully cover the town of Erin.
- Accordingly, the Commission finds that the proposed technical solution is appropriate.
Impact on existing stations
- As a community station, CHES-FM has limited advertising revenue potential. Moreover, no opposing interventions were filed by existing licensees operating in the market.
- Given the above, the Commission considers that approval of the application would not have an undue impact on other radio stations in the market.
- In light of all of the above, the Commission approves the application by Erin Community Radio to amend the broadcasting licence and change the authorized contours for the English-language community FM radio programming undertaking CHES-FM Erin by changing its frequency from 88.1 MHz (channel 201A) to 91.7 MHz (channel 219A) and increasing its average ERP from 570 to 850 watts (maximum ERP from 1,250 to 2,500 watts).
- Pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, this authority will only be effective when the Department notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.
- The transmitter must be operational with implemented technical changes 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 18 May 2018. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted in writing at least 60 days before that date.
*This decision is to be appended to the licence.
- Date modified: