HR 3439 RFS
H. R. 3439
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
May 2, 2000
May 2, 2000
MAY 16, 2000
MAY 16, 2000
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
To require the Federal Communications Commission to revise its regulations authorizing the operation of new, low-power FM radio stations.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘Radio Broadcasting Preservation Act of 2000’.
SEC. 2. MODIFICATIONS TO LOW-POWER FM REGULATIONS REQUIRED.
(a) THIRD-ADJACENT CHANNEL PROTECTIONS REQUIRED-
(1) MODIFICATIONS REQUIRED- The Federal Communications Commission shall modify the rules authorizing the operation of low-power FM radio stations, as proposed in MM Docket No. 99-25, to--
(A) prescribe minimum distance separations for third-adjacent channels (as well as for co-channels and first- and second-adjacent channels); and
(B) prohibit any applicant from obtaining a low-power FM license if the applicant has engaged in any manner in the unlicensed operation of any station in violation of section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 301).
(2) CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORITY REQUIRED FOR FURTHER CHANGES- The Federal Communications Commission may not--
(A) eliminate or reduce the minimum distance separations for third-adjacent channels required by paragraph (1)(A); or
(B) extend the eligibility for application for low-power FM stations beyond the organizations and entities as proposed in MM Docket No. 99-25 (47 CFR 73.853),
except as expressly authorized by Act of Congress enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(3) VALIDITY OF PRIOR ACTIONS- Any license that was issued by the Commission to a low-power FM station prior to the date on which the Commission modify its rules as required by paragraph (1) and that does not comply with such modifications shall be invalid.
(b) FURTHER EVALUATION OF NEED FOR THIRD-ADJACENT CHANNEL PROTECTIONS-
(1) PILOT PROGRAM REQUIRED- The Federal Communications Commission shall conduct an experimental program to test whether low-power FM radio stations will result in harmful interference to existing FM radio stations if such stations are not subject to the minimum distance separations for third-adjacent channels required by subsection (a). The Commission shall conduct such test in no more than nine FM radio markets, including urban, suburban, and rural markets, by waiving the minimum distance separations for third-adjacent channels for the stations that are the subject of the experimental program. At least one of the stations shall be selected for the purpose of evaluating whether minimum distance separations for third-adjacent channels are needed for FM translator stations. The Commission may, consistent with the public interest, continue after the conclusion of the experimental program to waive the minimum distance separations for third-adjacent channels for the stations that are the subject of the experimental program.
(2) CONDUCT OF TESTING- The Commission shall select an independent testing entity to conduct field tests in the markets of the stations in the experimental program under paragraph (1). Such field tests shall include--
(A) an opportunity for the public to comment on interference; and
(B) independent audience listening tests to determine what is objectionable and harmful interference to the average radio listener.
(3) REPORT TO CONGRESS- The Commission shall publish the results of the experimental program and field tests and afford an opportunity for the public to comment on such results. The Federal Communications Commission shall submit a report on the experimental program and field tests to the Committee on Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate not later than February 1, 2001. Such report shall include--
(A) an analysis of the experimental program and field tests and of the public comment received by the Commission;
(B) an evaluation of the impact of the modification or elimination of minimum distance separations for third-adjacent channels on--
(i) listening audiences;
(ii) incumbent FM radio broadcasters in general, and on minority and small market broadcasters in particular, including an analysis of the economic impact on such broadcasters;
(iii) the transition to digital radio for terrestrial radio broadcasters;
(iv) stations that provide a reading service for the blind to the public; and
(v) FM radio translator stations;
(C) the Commission’s recommendations to the Congress to reduce or eliminate the minimum distance separations for third-adjacent channels required by subsection (a); and
(D) such other information and recommendations as the Commission considers appropriate.
Passed the House of Representatives April 13, 2000.
By Martha C. Morrison,