Bend, Oregon Broadcasters Face Opposition over Proposed DTV Tower

Difficulty finding tower space for DTV antenna is not limited to large markets such as Denver and Boston. Broadcasters in Bend, Oregon are facing community opposition to plans for new or extended towers on Awbrey Butte. An article on said that although there have been broadcast towers on Awbrey Butte for the last 40 years, neighbors are raising concerns about the health effects of exposure to RF energy, interference to other electronic devices and asethetics. Some of the houses have a view of the towers from their front yards.

TV stations affected include KTVZ and KOAB-TV, Oregon Public Broadcasting. Expansion at other towers used by broadcasters (FM and LPTV) and other communications services are also affected.

In addition to opposition from homeowners in the area, commercial and public safety radio users of a 200 foot U.S. Forest Service tower nearby have expressed concerns about the impact on their communications.

The city Senior Planner supported part of the expansion plan and said he had received several letters supporting the proposed towers, noting the public service provided by broadcasters and the lack of suitable alternative sites.

The story provides an excellent description of what some broadcasters are facing as they try to increase tower heights for DTV with equal coverage for both sides of the argument. Broadcasters planning tower modifications should find it interesting.