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ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2011-568

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Route reference: 2011-109

Ottawa, 2 September 2011

Instant Information Services Incorporated
Moncton, New Brunswick

Application 2011-0030-5, received 12 January 2011

CIRM-FM Moncton – Technical change

The Commission denies an application to amend the broadcasting licence for the English-language, low-power tourist information radio station CIRM-FM Moncton.

Introduction

1.      The Commission received an application by Instant Information Services Incorporated (IISI) to amend the broadcasting licence for the English-language, low-power tourist information radio programming undertaking CIRM-FM Moncton, in order to change the frequency from 90.1 MHz (channel 211LP) to 96.3 MHz (channel 242A), and to change the authorized contours by increasing the effective radiated power from 22.4 to 500 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 63.5 metres). The Commission did not receive any interventions in connection with this application.

2.      IISI requested these technical changes as a measure to ensure that the entire urban population of Greater Moncton is able to receive CIRM-FM’s signal, including its safety and emergency messages. The applicant further requested that its station be operated on a protected frequency.

3.      The licensee also indicated that the Department of Industry (the Department) advised it that an application has been received for a new radio service in Saint John, New Brunswick to occupy CIRM-FM’s current 90.1 MHz frequency.

Commission's analysis and determination

4.      The Commission notes that CIRM-FM is currently licensed as a low-power unprotected FM service and that approval of the present application would change its operating class to that of a service that has protected status under the Department’s rules.[1]

5.      The technical changes requested in this application would result in an increase in the population served from 25,000 to 125,000 in the 3 mV/m service contour and from 40,000 to 135,000 in the 0.5 mV/m service contour, representing significant population increases of 400% and 238%, respectively.

6.      Additionally, the Commission notes that the service contours proposed by the applicant would exceed the boundaries of the City of Moncton, extending further than the Moncton Census Agglomeration (CA), thereby effectively transforming CIRM-FM into a regional service. The 2006 Census conducted by Statistics Canada indicates the City of Moncton’s population to be approximately 64,000 persons. The 3mV/m contour as proposed represents an increase in population coverage equal to five times its maximum capacity under its present technical parameters.

7.      In considering such an application, the Commission expects that, when a 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 low power technical parameters are not adequate to provide the service as it was originally proposed. As presented, the Commission is not convinced, in the absence of sufficient evidence from the applicant, that a change in its technical parameters is warranted to assist it in fulfilling its mandate as originally licensed. In addition, in regard to the above-noted application for a new FM radio service in Saint John proposing the use of frequency 90.1 MHz, the Commission notes that this application has subsequently been withdrawn.

Conclusion

8.      In light of all of the above, the Commission denies the application by Instant Information Services Incorporated to amend the technical parameters for the English-language low-power tourist information radio programming undertaking CIRM-FM Moncton, in order to change the frequency from 90.1 MHz (channel 211LP) to 96.3 MHz (channel 242A), and to change the authorized contours by increasing the effective radiated power from 22.4 to 500 watts (non-directional antenna with an effective height of antenna above average terrain of 63.5 metres).

Reminder

9.      The Commission reminds the licensee of its obligation to file its annual returns, accompanied by its financial statements, by 30 November of each broadcast year. It appears that the licensee has failed to do so. The Commission will deal with this issue as part of CIRM-FM’s licence renewal application.

Secretary General

Footnote

[1] BPR-3 – Application Procedures and Rules for FM Broadcasting Undertaking http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf01153.html