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Libin Named Frequency Coordinator for 2012 Political Conventions

WASHINGTON: Louis Libin has been designated chairman of the Frequency Coordinating Committee for the 2012 Political Conventions. Libin will act as the single point of contact for coordinating operations during the Republican National Convention, Democratic National Convention, and the 2013 Presidential Inauguration.

“Political conventions and inaugurations attract extensive broadcast coverage, and consequently require extensive use of wireless equipment,” the FCC said in today’s Public Notice. “For these events of major public importance, there is no one broadcaster who holds rights to control spectrum.”

In addition to licensed Broadcast Auxiliary Service operations, certain eligible broadcasters may also operate short-term operations not exceeding 720 hours a year, under FCC rules. Cable and regional news organizations will also need additional frequencies, as will government and public safety agencies. The FCC said that for past conventions, inaugurations and Olympic Games, it required prior coordination of all BAS operations. 

“These actions were taken as a result of our concern that uncoordinated use of auxiliary broadcast stations on a special temporary authority basis might result in spectrum congestion and excessive interference, resulting in less complete broadcast coverage,” the Notice said. “We believe that the potential for a similar situation exists during the 2012 national political conventions and the 2013 Presidential Inauguration.”

POLCOMM-2012, an ad hoc frequency coordination group established by the broadcast networks, requested last April that the group’s chairman Louis Libin, be designated as a special frequency coordinator. With the FCC’s approval, he becomes the single point of contact for frequency coordination in the following markets for the stated durations:

Aug. 27 - 30, 2012, in Tampa, Fla., for the Republican National Convention; Sept. 2 - 5, 2012 in Charlotte, N.C., for the Democratic National Convention; and Jan. 20 - 26, 2013, for the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C. This designation will allow for advance coordination of terrestrial auxiliary broadcast frequency usage within a 100 kilometer radio around the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, the Time Warner Cable Arena and Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, the U.S. Capitol and the White House in D.C.

“All short-term auxiliary broadcast use under Part 74, without exception,” will be coordinated in advance through Louis Libin, the Notice states. He can be reached for frequency coordination at 516-374-6700, or RFrequest-at-broadcom-dot-com.

The FCC also granted a waiver—requested by POLCOMM-2012—of the distance separation requirement of Sec. 74.802, to permit the use of low-power auxiliary stations not exceeding 2 watts, on TV channels where the nearest operating station is at least 40 kilometers from the event locations.