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Notice

Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission

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AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995. Comments are requested concerning whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

DATES:

Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before November 25, 2013. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

ADDRESSES:

Direct all PRA comments to the Federal Communications Commission via email to PRA@fcc.gov and Cathy.Williams@fcc.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

OMB Control No.: 3060-1121.

Title: Sections 1.30002, 1.30003, 1.30004, 73.875, 73.1657 and 73.1690, Disturbance of AM Broadcast Station Antenna Patterns.

Form No.: Not applicable.

Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities and Not-for-profit Institutions.

Number of Respondents and Responses: 1,195 respondents and 1,195 responses.

Estimated Time per Response: 1-2 hours.

Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement and third party disclosure requirement.

Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in Section 154(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. Start Printed Page 59030

Total Annual Burden: 1,960 hours.

Total Annual Cost: $1,078,200.

Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

Needs and Uses: On August 14, 2013, the Commission adopted the Third Report and Order and Second Order on Reconsideration in the matter of An Inquiry Into the Commission's Policies and Rules Regarding AM Radio Service Directional Antenna Performance Verification, MM Docket No. 93-177, FCC 13-115. In the Third Report and Order in this proceeding, the Commission harmonized and streamlined the Commission's rules regarding tower construction near AM stations.

In AM radio, the tower itself functions as the antenna. Consequently, a nearby tower may become an unintended part of the AM antenna system, reradiating the AM signal and distorting the authorized AM radiation pattern. Our old rules contained several sections concerning tower construction near AM antennas that were intended to protect AM stations from the effects of such tower construction, specifically, Sections 73.1692, 22.371, and 27.63. These old rule sections imposed differing requirements on the broadcast and wireless entities, although the issue is the same regardless of the types of antennas mounted on a tower. Other rule parts, such as Part 90 and Part 24, entirely lacked provisions for protecting AM stations from possible effects of nearby tower construction. In the Third Report and Order the Commission adopted a uniform set of rules applicable to all services, thus establishing a single protection scheme regarding tower construction near AM tower arrays. The Third Report and Order also designates “moment method” computer modeling as the principal means of determining whether a nearby tower affects an AM radiation pattern. This serves to replace time-consuming direct measurement procedures with a more efficient computer modeling methodology that is reflective of current industry practice.

New Information Collection Requirements

47 CFR 1.30002(a) requires a proponent of construction or modification of a tower within a specified distance of a nondirectional AM station, and also exceeding a specified height, to notify the AM station at least 30 days in advance of the commencement of construction. If the tower construction or modification would distort the AM pattern, the proponent shall be responsible for the installation and maintenance of detuning equipment.

47 CFR 1.30002(b) requires a proponent of construction or modification of a tower within a specified distance of a directional AM station, and also exceeding a specified height, to notify the AM station at least 30 days in advance of the commencement of construction. If the tower construction or modification would distort the AM pattern, the proponent shall be responsible for the installation and maintenance of detuning equipment.

47 CFR 1.30002(c) states that proponents of tower construction or alteration near an AM station shall use moment method modeling, described in § 73.151(c), to determine the effect of the construction or alteration on an AM radiation pattern.

47 CFR 1.30002(f) states that, with respect to an AM station that was authorized pursuant to a directional proof of performance based on field strength measurements, the proponent of the tower construction or modification may, in lieu of the study described in § 1.30002 (c), demonstrate through measurements taken before and after construction that field strength values at the monitoring points do not exceed the licensed values. In the event that the pre-construction monitoring point values exceed the licensed values, the proponent may demonstrate that post-construction monitoring point values do not exceed the pre-construction values. Alternatively, the AM station may file for authority to increase the relevant monitoring point value after performing a partial proof of performance in accordance with §  73.154 to establish that the licensed radiation limit on the applicable radial is not exceeded.

47 CFR 1.30002(g) states that tower construction or modification that falls outside the criteria described in paragraphs § 1.30002(a) and (b) is presumed to have no significant effect on an AM station. In some instances, however, an AM station may be affected by tower construction notwithstanding the criteria set forth in paragraphs § 1.30002(a) and (b). In such cases, an AM station may submit a showing that its operation has been affected by tower construction or alteration. Such showing shall consist of either a moment method analysis or field strength measurements. The showing shall be provided to (i) the tower proponent if the showing relates to a tower that has not yet been constructed or modified and otherwise to the current tower owner, and (ii) to the Commission, within two years after the date of completion of the tower construction or modification. If necessary, the Commission shall direct the tower proponent to install and maintain any detuning apparatus necessary to restore proper operation of the AM antenna.

47 CFR 1.30002(h) states that an AM station may submit a showing that its operation has been affected by tower construction or modification commenced or completed prior to or on the effective date of the rules adopted in this Part pursuant to MM Docket No. 93-177. Such a showing shall consist of either a moment method analysis or of field strength measurements. The showing shall be provided to the current owner and the Commission within one year of the effective date of the rules adopted in this Part. If necessary, the Commission shall direct the tower owner, if the tower owner holds a Commission authorization, to install and maintain any detuning apparatus necessary to restore proper operation of the AM antenna.

47 CFR 1.30002(i) states that a Commission applicant may not propose, and a Commission licensee or permittee may not locate, an antenna on any tower or support structure, whether constructed before or after the effective date of these rules, that is causing a disturbance to the radiation pattern of the AM station, as defined in paragraphs § 1.30002(a) and (b), unless the applicant, licensee, or tower owner completes the new study and notification process and takes appropriate ameliorative action to correct any disturbance, such as detuning the tower, either prior to construction or at any other time prior to the proposal or antenna location.

47 CFR 1.30003(a) states that when antennas are installed on a nondirectional AM tower the AM station shall determine operating power by the indirect method (see § 73.51). Upon the completion of the installation, antenna impedance measurements on the AM antenna shall be made. If the resistance of the AM antenna changes, an application on FCC Form 302-AM (including a tower sketch of the installation) shall be filed with the Commission for the AM station to return to direct power measurement. The Form 302-AM shall be filed before or simultaneously with any license application associated with the installation.

47 CFR 1.30003(b) requires that, before antennas are installed on a tower in a directional AM array, the proponent shall notify the AM station so that, if Start Printed Page 59031necessary, the AM station may determine operating power by the indirect method (see § 73.51) and request special temporary authority pursuant to § 73.1635 to operate with parameters at variance. For AM stations licensed via field strength measurements (see § 73.151(a)), a partial proof of performance (as defined by § 73.154) shall be conducted both before and after construction to establish that the AM array will not be and has not been adversely affected. For AM stations licensed via a moment method proof (see § 73.151(c)), the proof procedures set forth in § 73.151(c) shall be repeated. The results of either the partial proof of performance or the moment method proof shall be filed with the Commission on Form 302-AM before or simultaneously with any license application associated with the installation.

47 CFR 1.30004(a) requires proponents of proposed tower construction or modification to an existing tower near an AM station that are subject to the notification requirement in §§ 1.30002-1.30003 to provide notice of the proposed tower construction or modification to the AM station at least 30 days prior to commencement of the planned tower construction or modification. Notification to an AM station and any responses may be oral or written. If such notification and/or response is oral, the party providing such notification or response must supply written documentation of the communication and written documentation of the date of communication upon request of the other party to the communication or the Commission. Notification must include the relevant technical details of the proposed tower construction or modification, and, at a minimum, also include the following: proponent's name and address; coordinates of the tower to be constructed or modified; physical description of the planned structure; and results of the analysis showing the predicted effect on the AM pattern, if performed.

47 CFR 1.30004(b) requires that a response to a notification indicating a potential disturbance of the AM radiation pattern must specify the technical details and must be provided to the proponent within 30 days.

47 CFR 1.30004(d) states that if an expedited notification period (less than 30 days) is requested by the proponent, the notification shall be identified as “expedited,” and the requested response date shall be clearly indicated.

47 CFR 1.30004(e) states that in the event of an emergency situation, if the proponent erects a temporary new tower or makes a temporary significant modification to an existing tower without prior notice, the proponent must provide written notice to potentially affected AM stations within five days of the construction or modification of the tower and cooperate with such AM stations to remedy any pattern distortions that arise as a consequence of such construction.

47 CFR 73.875(c) requires an LPFM applicant to submit an exhibit demonstrating compliance with § 1.30003 or § 1.30002, as applicable, with any modification of license application filed solely pursuant to paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section, where the installation is on or near an AM tower, as defined in § 1.30002.

47 CFR 73.1675(c)(1) states that where an FM, TV, or Class A TV licensee or permittee proposes to mount an auxiliary facility on an AM tower, it must also demonstrate compliance with § 1.30003 in the license application.

47 CFR 73.1690(c) requires FM, TV, or Class A TV station applicants to submit an exhibit demonstrating compliance with § 1.30003 or § 1.30002, as applicable, with a modification of license application, except for applications solely filed pursuant to paragraphs (c)(6) or (c)(9) of this section, where the installation is located on or near an AM tower, as defined in § 1.30002.

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Federal Communications Commission.

Marlene H. Dortch,

Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Office of Managing Director.

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[FR Doc. 2013-23238 Filed 9-24-13; 8:45 am]

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