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Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2008-28
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Ottawa, 13 February 2008
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Communications CHIC (C.H.I.C.)
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Application 2007-1141-7, received 14 August 2007
Broadcasting Public Notice CRTC 2007-102
17 September 2007
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CHIC-FM Rouyn-Noranda - Technical change
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In this decision, the Commission approves an application byCommunications CHIC (C.H.I.C.) to change the authorized contours of the radio programming undertaking CHIC-FM Rouyn-Noranda by increasing the effective radiated power from 50 watts to 300 watts.
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The Commission received an application by Communications CHIC (C.H.I.C.) (CHIC) to change the authorized contours of the radio programming undertaking CHIC-FM Rouyn-Noranda by increasing the effective radiated power (ERP) from 50 watts to 300 watts.
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The licensee indicated that it sought to improve the reception of its signal in residences and in buildings. The licensee further indicated that it wishes to protect its frequency.
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The Commission received several interventions in support of this application.
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In New Christian music FM radio station, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2001-163, 5 March 2001, the Commission authorized CHIC-FM to serve the Rouyn-Noranda radio market. This Specialty FM radio station operates at 88.7 MHz (channel 204LP) and is currently in its first licence term which expires 31 August 2008. The station broadcasts 126 hours of local programming per broadcast week, and 90% of the musical selections broadcast in each broadcast week are drawn from subcategory 35 (Non-classic religious).
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The Commission notes that the proposed increase in power would change the status of CHIC-FM Rouyn-Noranda from that of an unprotected low-power service to that of a regular Class A service.
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Commission's analysis and determinations
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After examining the application and the interventions, the Commission finds that the primary issue relates to whether it is appropriate to permit CHIC-FM to implement a technical change that would expand its authorized contours significantly and that would change its status from that of a low-power unprotected FM station to that of a regular Class A FM station.1
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The Commission expects that, when the licensee of a low-power radio station files an application to change its operating class to that of a higher-powered, protected station, it should present compelling evidence that its authorized technical parameters are not adequate to provide the service as originally proposed. In evaluating such applications, the Commission also considers the impact that the proposed technical change would have on the radio market.
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In the present case, CHIC provided evidence that some of CHIC-FM's listeners experience a fading signal within the station's licensed area, in particular, inside buildings within in its 3 mV/m contour. Numerous letters submitted by listeners to the station corroborated these claims. The Commission is convinced that the proposed technical change would not result in a significant change to the coverage area. Moreover, it would permit the licensee to offer better service, especially within buildings in the authorized 3 mV/m contour, and would ensure that the frequency of 88.7 MHz (channel 204A) operated by CHIC is protected.
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During the evaluation of the possible impact of the proposed technical change on the Rouyn-Noranda radio market, the Commission considered that the station is authorized as a Specialty FM station and that its programming is composed primarily of local programming and religious musical selections. The Commission considers that given the station's specialty format, combined with its rather weak advertising revenues and audience ratings, CHIC-FM would not have a negative economic impact on the local radio market. The Commission also notes that it did not receive any interventions in opposition to this application from other radio stations in the Rouyn-Noranda market.
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The Commission further notes that several other frequencies are still available in the Rouyn-Noranda radio market.
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Finally, the Commission is convinced that the goal of CHIC's application is not to avoid the usual process for obtaining a radio broadcasting licence, nor to enter the Rouyn-Noranda commercial radio market through a "back door" approach.
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In light of all of the above, the Commission concludes that CHIC has shown that CHIC-FM's authorized technical parameters are not adequate to offer Rouyn-Noranda the service that was originally proposed and approved by the Commission. Further, the Commission recognizes that approval of the present application would not have a negative economic impact on the current radio market. Accordingly, the Commission approves the application by Communications CHIC (C.H.I.C.) to change the authorized contours of CHIC-FM Rouyn-Noranda by increasing the ERP from 50 watts to 300 watts.
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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.
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This decision is to be appended to the licence. It is available in alternative format upon request, and may also be examined in PDF format or in HTML at the following Internet site: www.crtc.gc.ca
| || Footnote: |
>According to the Department of Industry's regulations, the licensee of a low-power station, that is, a licensee operating a station with an ERP of 50 watts or less, must select another frequency if optimum utilization of the frequency spectrum so requires.