Broadcasting decision 2015-418

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Reference: Part 1 application posted on 25 September 2014

Ottawa, 10 September 2015

Centre Wellington Community Radio Inc.
Elora and Fergus, Ontario

Application 2014-0966-5

CICW-FM Elora and Fergus–Licence amendment and technical changes

The Commission approves an application to change the technical parameters of the English-language community radio station CICW-FM Elora and Fergus.

The changes will improve the quality of the signal that CICW-FM provides to residents in Elora and Fergus.

Application

  1. Centre Wellington Community Radio Inc. (CWCR) filed an application to change the authorized contours of the English-language community radio station CICW-FM Elora and Fergus, Ontario, by changing the frequency from 92.9 MHz (channel 225) to 101.1 MHz (channel 266) and the class from A1 to A, and byincreasing the average effective radiated power (ERP) from 45 to 750 watts (maximum ERP from 150 to 2,500 watts). All other parameters would remain unchanged.The Commission received interventions in support of this application.

Commission’s analysis

  1. After examining the public record for this application in light of applicable regulations and policies, the Commission considers that the issues to be addressed are the following:
    • whether the applicant demonstrated a compelling technical need for the proposed changes;
    • whether the proposal represents an appropriate technical solution and use of spectrum; and
    • whether approval of the proposed technical changes would have an undue negative financial impact on existing radio stations.

Technical need

  1. When a licensee files an application to change a station’s authorized contours, the Commission expects it to demonstrate compelling technical or economic evidence that its existing technical parameters are not adequate to provide the service as original proposed.
  2. In support of its application, CWCR submitted 12 letters that noted the benefits of the station and that provided support for its request for a better signal in Centre Wellington. In addition, the licensee argued that CICW-FM suffers from significant signal issues within its licensed service area, such as co-channel interference from CKJN-FM Haldimand that causes certain listeners to receive the signal of CKJN-FM rather than that of CICW-FM.CWCR added that its station’s signal does not cover the majority of the northern part of its service area since CICW-FM broadcasts with a radiation pattern that protects the adjacent-channel station CHAY-FM Barrie.
  3. Given the foregoing, the Commission finds that CWCR has demonstrated a compelling technical need for the proposed changes.

Technical solution and use of spectrum

  1. By changing its frequency, CWCR would be able to increase CICW-FM’s power and modify its radiation pattern so as to correct its lack of coverage east and north-east of Fergus. Moreover, as a result of the proposed changes, CICW-FM’s interference-free zone would increase considerably around Fergus, particularly eastward, but would not enter the neighbouring markets of Guelph and Kitchener/Waterloo. Further, 101.1 MHz is not the last available frequency in the Elora-Fergus market, and its use in that market would have a moderate impact on frequency availability.
  2. Accordingly, the Commission finds that the licensee’s proposal represents an appropriate technical solution and use of spectrum to serve Elora and Fergus.

Financial impact on existing stations

  1. As a community radio station, CICW-FM has limited advertising potential. While the station’s secondary contour would reach parts of Guelph, the station’s coverage of this community would be affected by interference from existing stations. In addition, the station’s projected incremental revenues would represent only 0.5% of revenues in the Guelph radio market, and no opposing interventions were filed in regard to this application.
  2. The Commission therefore finds that approval of the application would have no undue negative financial impact on existing radio stations.

Conclusion

  1. In light of all of the above, the Commission approves the application by Centre Wellington Community Radio Inc. to change the authorized contours of the English-language community radio programming undertaking CICW-FM Elora and Fergus by changing the frequency from 92.9 MHz (channel 225) to 101.1 MHz (channel 266) and the class from A1 to A, and byincreasing the average ERP from 45 to 750 watts (maximum ERP from 150 to 2,500 watts).
  2. 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.
  3. The station’s transmitter must be operational with implemented technical changes at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 24 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 10 September 2017. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted in writing at least 60 days before that date.

Secretary General

*This decision is to be appended to the licence.

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