The Source
Issue Date • January 2015
 
Don't lose use of your radio frequency!
ZEELAND, MI:  Most Information Radio operators know that when they obtain a fixed-point FCC license for their radio station, the FCC affords them a 9.3-mile zone of protection within which no one else should license on the their frequency. Most, however, don’t know that the FCC will grant such errant or fraudulent applications within 9.3 miles of their station, unless the licensee makes a formal protest prior to the grant. The window of opportunity to make such a protest is often fewer than 60 days.

Information Station Specialists now can protect licensees from this hazard through an exclusive offering named “Potential Interference Notification Service (PINS).” The new program scans the radio spectrum monthly and advises a licensee immediately if there are issues, including any changes in full-power broadcast stations that could negatively impact an information station’s operation.
 
One of the Nation's longest running Information Radio stations (since 1984) is located at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport in Florida.
Recalls company spokesman Bill Baker, “Not long ago a city government in South Florida applied for an Information Radio license on the same frequency used by the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport since the 1990s – and it was only 7 miles away. Had the application been granted and the new station gone live, the Airport’s service would have been severely disrupted, and it would have had little legal leverage to correct the situation.” PINS alerted the Airport in time for them to file an appeal with the FCC to dismiss the offending application. The appeal was successful

Baker warns that licensing conflicts are especially likely between the local government (FCC) and the federal (NTIA) licensing systems because local government applicants, such as cities and states, cannot gain access to the federal license database to determine if they are separated properly from federally licensed stations such as those operated by the National Park Service, the Military and other federal agencies.

Information Station Specialists will begin offering PINS to new licensees for a one-time fee that will provide protection for a station (or system of up to ten stations) during its entire lifetime. Existing licensees may add the service at any time − even if the original station equipment or license was obtained elsewhere. Tiered service is available for licensees with more than ten stations, such as the National Park Service or a state department of transportation. Contact Bill Baker to learn more.
 
Flight 93 Info Stations are on the air.
Flight 93 Entry Sign 
SHANKSVILLE, PA: The pair of Information Radio Stations intended to help motorists locate the final resting place of the passengers and crew of United Flight 93 are now on the air. The stations were installed at the Bedford and Somerset exits on the Pennsylvania Turnpike to assist with driving directions and general information regarding the permanent national memorial. The Memorial Plaza at the crash site is complete and open to visitors. The new Visitor Center Complex is slated for completion later this year.

The National Park Service will operate the stations via a wireless network from the Memorial’s headquarters, utilizing the Information Station –IP product. Ranger Brendan Wilson will be the voice of the radio stations as well as many of the other interpretive tools available to visitors at the site.
Flight 93 Ranger  Flight 93 Exhibit 
 
Ranger Brendan Wilson at the temporary ranger office (left) and an interpretive display at the Memorial Plaza (right).
The stations will assist in informing traffic exiting the Turnpike in finding the 14th commemoration of the September 11, 2001, tragedy. The commemoration is planned for later this year at the Memorial.
Announcer Jeff Laurence 
So, what do we broadcast when there's not an emergency?
NAPERVILLE, IL:  You may recall that in 2014, The Source carried the story of The City of Naperville, Illinois, Department of Emergency Management and the improvements they were planning for their Information Radio Stations – one of which was a new broadcast format the City intended to run during non-emergency times.

Titled “InfoRadio Format,” the program was created in collaboration with Information Station Specialists and is now airing 24/7 in the Chicagoland suburb. The primary goal was to make the presentation as professional sounding as possible to encourage listening, while injecting a high density of useful content to make the result helpful to both visitors and locals on a daily basis. Multiple announcers, both male and female, were utilized to maintain interest level across the program, which can be five to ten minutes in cycle-length. The secondary goal was to drive home the message that the service will be utilized as a key means of reaching out to citizens should a disaster occur that would sever conventional communications.

InfoRadio Format was introduced by Information Station Specialists last year and is on the air in various communities in New Jersey, Colorado and Illinois. It is backward-compatible to Information Stations with telephone-based audio systems as well as more current file-based systems.

Hear a sample of Naperville’s broadcast.