The FCC is opening an inquiry into whether to introduce a new class of FM licenses.
SSR Communications, owner of Talk 103.9 WYAB Pocahontas MS and the MMTC first proposed the creation of Class C4 in 2013 to allow stations in Zone II the potential to upgrade from Class A, but not all the way to C3. The original proposal sought to allow stations the equivalent of 12kW from a reference antenna height of 100 meters above average terrain whereas Class A is 6kW/100m and C3 is 25kW/100m.
A second part of the inquiry would focus on adding a procedure where any FM station between 92.1 and 107.9 regardless of zone or class could be designated as a Section 73.215 facility, which would set interference protection based on actual authorized operating parameters rather than class maximums if it has continuously operated with
an ERP or HAAT below its class maximum for ten years.
The agency is asking for comments on how these proposals would affect stations and their listeners, secondary services such as LPFM and translators, allocations, and implementation. The full notice of inquiry can be read here.