Broadcaster Magazine

CRTC to ease rules for low power radio stations

The CRTC says it is streamlining its approach for licensing low-power “developmental” community stations so they serve as a training ground, and allow for the future establishment of higher power community stations.

In preparing their applications for new licences or for licence renewal, applicants will no longer be required to complete a Promise of Performance as part of an application for a new community radio licence or for licence renewal. Applicants will be asked to submit their proposed program schedule as a sample of the type of programming they would provide.

The regulatory framework for developmental community stations will apply only to stations having a transmitter power of five watts or less (AM) or an effective radiated power (ERP) of five watts or less (FM).

The CRTC’s decision is similar to one recently announced south of the border. The FCC’s decision to license low power FM radio stations in the U.S. is expected to create hundreds or possibly thousands of local radio broadcasters there.

The plan was criticized by established broadcasters who fear the smaller station’s signals will interfere with their operations.