... edited by Barry Mishkind - the Eclectic Engineer
KWVE Meets the EB Bureaucrats
KWVE was recently slapped with a NAL for $5000, after a botched EAS test last year (October 2008). This is an LP-1 station which appears to have a good reputation in its area.
The FCC NAL is here:
I thought you might like to know a bit more of the background to the story:
The KWVE Chief Engineer, Marcos
O'Rourke, is the Chair for the Operational Area's EAS Committee.
According to O'Rourke, the station is protesting the fine, and while not soliciting letters of support, they are grateful for the support that has already been shown.
While many at the FCC are sympathetic to the efforts put forth by stations that volunteer time and resources to EAS, I am told that this is a situation driven by a complaint from the public - and is still in "process." The station is allowed to defend itself, and there is a further appeal process available.
Still, one has to wonder why the Enforcement Bureau issued the NAL as they did, based on the fact that the operator realized he made an error - but did not send an EOM - apparently meets the legal definition of "willful."
Even if this does meet the "legal definition" of "willful," many feel there is something wrong with such a strict application of the term - sort of like arresting a person with a broken tail light for dangerous operation because they were driving to a store to replace it.
As we wait to see how this works through the system - and we do need to wait and see what happens before reacting - here is a question: What else could KWVE have done - other than hire only perfect people? Mistakes do happen.
Stations acting as LP-1's and LP-2's do volunteer their services to the local communities and region. In return, many stations now see this as just another potential liability. If fines are a potential liability for a botched test, who wants the grief? Unless the FCC wants LP-1's and LP-2's to resign en mass, a real change in the way this sort of situation is handled is needed. Although there is a "procedure" underway, a calming message has to be sent - and soon - to the broadcast industry that this is not the result the Commission wants to see happen.
For what it is worth, a good start would be to delete entirely the useless RWT from the Rules. Actually fixing the RMT - as opposed to more studies and committees - would not be a bad idea either. Anyone for having all RMT's come from government agencies? And, how about RDS?
- Barry Mishkind