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ARCHIVED -  Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2003-119

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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2003-119

Ottawa, 17 April 2003
Radio 1540 Limited
Toronto, Ontario
Application 2002-0261-4
Public Hearing at Toronto, Ontario
17 September 2002

CHIN Toronto - Technical changes

In this decision, the Commission approves the application by Radio 1540 Limited to change the frequency of CHIN-1-FM Toronto from 101.3 MHz (channel 267LP) to 91.9 MHz (channel 220A1) and to increase the effective radiated power from 22 watts to 35 watts.
The Commission's general analysis with respect to its consideration of the applications considered at the 17 September 2002 Public Hearing is set out in Introductory statement to Broadcasting Decisions CRTC 2003-115 to 2003-120: Applications for new radio stations to serve Toronto, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2003-20, 17 April 2003.

Introduction

1.

On 22 March 2001, the Commission issued Call for applications for a broadcasting licence to carry on a radio programming undertaking to serve Toronto, Ontario, Public Notice CRTC 2001-39 (the Call). The Call, as amended by Public Notices CRTC 2001-39-1, 15 May 2001; CRTC 2001-39-2, 23 August 2001 and Broadcasting Public Notices CRTC 2001-39-3, 12 February 2002 and CRTC 2001-39-4, 4 March 2002, invited applications for licences to operate AM, FM and/or transitional digital radio programming services that clearly reflect the diversity of languages, as well as the multicultural and multi-ethnic reality of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

2.

Early in 2002, the Department of Industry (the Department) identified 101.3 MHz as one of the available FM frequencies in the Toronto area. The 101.3 MHz frequency is currently used by Radio 1540 Limited (Radio 1540) for its low-power transmitter, CHIN-1-FM Toronto, which rebroadcasts the programming of AM ethnic radio station CHIN Toronto to correct technical deficiencies in its night-time signal to certain areas of Woodbridge, east Mississauga and Etobicoke, Ontario. The Commission authorized the low-power transmitter in Licence amendment, Decision CRTC 97-539, 5 September 1997.

3.

Pursuant to the Department's Broadcast Procedures and Rules, the operation of low-power undertakings, such as CHIN-1-FM, are authorized on an unprotected basis. If necessary, the licensees of such undertakings must select another frequency to permit optimum utilization of the frequency spectrum.

4.

Among the 17 applications that the Commission received in response to the Call were eight competing applications requesting the use of 101.3 MHz, including two by Radio 1540. In one, Radio 1540 requested a broadcasting licence to establish a new ethnic radio station at 101.3 MHz and, in another, it proposed to use the frequency to convert CHIN to the FM band. Radio 1540 also filed the present application to amend the broadcasting licence for CHIN in order to change the frequency of its transmitter, CHIN-1-FM from 101.3 MHz (channel 267LP) to 91.9 MHz (channel 220A1) and to increase the effective radiated power from 22 watts to 35 watts.

5.

In Introductory statement to Broadcasting Decisions CRTC 2003-115 to 2003-120: Applications for new radio stations to serve Toronto, Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2003-20, 17 April 2003 (the Introductory Statement), the Commission announces that it has approved four applications for new Toronto radio stations, including one by 3885275 Canada Inc. "Canadian Multicultural Radio" (CMR) for a new ethnic FM radio undertaking at 101.3 MHz as well as the application by Radio 1540 to change the frequency of CHIN-1-FM to 91.9 MHz and increase its effective radiated power. The present decision addresses the particulars of Radio 1540's application.

The applicant's rationale

6.

Radio 1540 submitted that the proposed technical changes for CHIN-1-FM would ensure the continued operation of the rebroadcasting transmitter, and thereby maintain service to listeners in areas that experience technical deficiencies in receiving CHIN's night-time signal. The applicant argued that the proposed technical parameters would allow CHIN-1-FM to achieve essentially the same coverage as it currently provides. In addition, the applicant confirmed that the signal transmitted by CHIN-1-FM would continue to be that of CHIN and that it would operate under the same terms and conditions as CHIN's current licence, including directing ethnic programs to a minimum of 23 cultural groups in a minimum of 17 different languages in each broadcast week.

Interventions

7.

The Commission received many interventions in support of Radio 1540's proposed licence amendment.

8.

Elder Engineering Inc. (Elder) filed an opposing intervention, on behalf of CMR and Canadian Thamil Broadcasting Corporation, another competing applicant for 101.3 MHz. According to the intervener, the most efficient solution for Radio 1540 would be to replace CHIN-1-FM with an AM transmitter that would operate at 1570 kHz, with a daytime transmitter power of 100 watts and a night-time transmitter power of 150 watts, and be located at the transmitter site currently used by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority to operate CFYZ Toronto at Pearson International Airport. The intervener considered that the proposed AM transmitter could share one of CFYZ's two AM towers and transmit in a non-directional radiation mode.

9.

As an alternative solution, Elder suggested that Radio 1540 change the frequency of the originating station, CHIN, from 1540 kHz to 1570 kHz, increase its night-time transmitter power to 50,000 watts, and share Fairchild Radio (Toronto) Ltd.'s antenna system for CHKT Toronto, which currently operates at 1430 kHz at Toronto Island. Elder claimed that there is presently no station operating at 1570 kHz in either Ontario or Quebec and that both CHKT and CHIN could operate at 50,000 watts at Toronto Island. The intervener submitted that, in addition, this option would result in substantial savings in each station's leasing costs and reduce the radio frequency (RF) radiation exposure levels experienced at Toronto Island from CHIN's current operation at 1540 kHz.

The applicant's reply

10.

Radio 1540 submitted that the intervener's proposal to replace CHIN-1-FM with an AM transmitter at Pearson International Airport would cause disruption to CHIN-1-FM's current listeners. Moreover, the high electrical noise level associated with signal reception on the AM band would cause them to lose the stereophonic high fidelity signal they now receive on the FM band. Furthermore, the AM transmitter would serve fewer people than the existing FM repeater because the night-time interference-free coverage on 1570 kHz would shift coverage further westward. In addition, the applicant did not consider that it could reach an agreement with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority with respect to locating an AM transmitter at the Pearson International Airport in light of the recent increases to the charges for cellular site leases at the airport.

11.

With regard to the intervener's second proposal, Radio 1540 noted that the Commission was currently considering an application by Pineridge Broadcasting Inc. to change the frequency of its station, CHUC Coburg, Ontario to 1580 kHz and increase its transmitter power to 10,000 watts, during the day and night1. Radio 1540 argued that operating the originating station, CHIN, on AM frequency 1570 kHz with a transmitter power of 50,000 watts and sharing CHKT's antenna system at Toronto Island would not be compatible with CHUC's technical parameters.

12.

Radio 1540 further argued that both of the technical solutions proposed by the intervener would be prohibited under the Department's Broadcast Procedures and Rules. In the first case, the 25 mV/m daytime contours of the proposed 1570 kHz operation at the airport and the existing 1540 kHz operation at Toronto Island would overlap and, in the second case, the implementation of the proposal would result in a significant overlap of the daytime protected 0.5 mV/m contours of both CHUC and CHIN.

The Commission's analysis and determination

13.

Having considered the arguments presented by Elder and the response by Radio 1540, the Commission determines that the intervener's proposed technical solutions to enable CHIN to continue operation on another frequency are not practical.

14.

Furthermore, the Commission finds that none of the AM frequencies identified by the Department for potential use in the Toronto area would be suitable for offering a service that would replicate that currently provided by CHIN and its transmitter CHIN-1-FM. The potential night-time coverage on any of these alternative frequencies would be substantially poorer than CHIN's existing night-time service.

15.

The Commission recognizes that, even if a suitable AM frequency could be found, Radio 1540 would encounter significant difficulties in locating an appropriate AM transmitter site in the GTA for the new frequency. Furthermore, the Commission acknowledges that the costs associated with purchasing a property that would be large enough for the installation of a new 50,000 watt transmitter operation and associated AM towers for the antenna system would be substantial.

16.

For the reasons discussed above, the Commission finds that the use of 91.9 MHz, as proposed in Radio 1540's application, is the most appropriate alternative for the continued complete coverage of CHIN.

17.

Over its many years of service since it began operation in 1966, CHIN has responded to the evolving needs and interests of the various linguistic and cultural groups within its coverage area and has attracted large audiences. The Commission is satisfied that Radio 1540's proposed technical amendment will enable the licensee to maintain CHIN's current full service to listeners within its coverage area and to continue to contribute to the diversity of programming available in the GTA.

18.

Accordingly, the Commission approves the application by Radio 1540 to amend the broadcasting licence for CHIN in order to change the frequency of its transmitter, CHIN-1-FM from 101.3 MHz (channel 267LP) to 91.9 MHz (channel 220A1) and to increase the effective radiated power from 22 watts to 35 watts.

19.

This licence amendment will change CHIN-1-FM's status from that of a low-power unprotected transmitter to that of a regular Class A transmitter.

20.

The Department has advised the Commission that, while this application is conditionally technically acceptable, it will only issue a broadcasting certificate when it has determined that the proposed technical parameters will not create any unacceptable interference with aeronautical NAV/COM services.

21.

The Commission reminds the licensee that, 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.
Secretary General
This decision is to be appended to the licence. It is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be examined at the following Internet site: http://www.crtc.gc.ca
1The Commission approved this application in CHUC Cobourg - Technical changes, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2002-418, 9 December 2002.

Date Modified: 2003-04-17