FCC Revises Rules Protecting AM Stations From Nearby Tower Construction

Posted on August 28th, 2013 by

The FCC has now clarified its rules for deciding when construction of a new tower can distort the antenna patterns of AM stations, and when tower owners have to pay for interference remedies.  New tower construction is classified as “significant” if distortion of an AM pattern by more than 2 db occurs, and are covered if they are within 3 kilometers (or 10 wavelengths) of the AM tower.

AM stations are also now entitled to a notice from a new tower owner at least 30 days before construction is to begin so that the AM station can study the potential impact.  Unbuilt AM station permit holders are not entitled to notice.

The new rules only apply to tower owners owned by other FCC licensees, unless an FCC licensee seeks to operate from a non-FCC licensee owned tower.  In that situation, the tower owner would have to comply even though it was not an FCC licensee.