Radio Broadcast


Definitions

A license is a document formally vesting authority to operate the machinery of broadcasting in a specified manner, as detailed below.

Broadcast is the deliberate generation of radio signals in such a manner that the successful reception of other radio signals by others at a distance of 1000 feet or greater over an arc span of greater than 30 degrees, or greater than 5000 feet over an arc span of greater than 10 degrees, or greater than 20000 feet over any arc span, is rendered impossible or is distinctly hampered or complicated by dint of interference.   Furthermore, broadcast does not involve two-way communications wherein two or more parties use similar apparatuses to send and receive.   Except when specifically noted, in this section the term "broadcast" refers to either terrestrial or satellite broadcast.

A particular broadcast is principally characterized by the configuration and characteristics of the transmitting antenna system (chiefly, its polarization and directionality) and by the power distribution (versus frequency) of the signal introduced to the antenna system.   From these fundamental parameters, and detailed knowledge of the relevant terrain, the range of the broadcast is determined.

A licensee is the individual or incorporated entity that controls, through ownership or a lease/loan or other contractual arrangement, the machinery of broadcasting used in compliance with a particular license.   A licensee must have total, legally documented, and immediate control over the operation and content of broadcasts generated with this machinery.   A licensee is responsible for the compliant operation of the machinery, and can be penalized for any non-compliance.

A band is a contiguous range of frequencies whose propagational charactistics, permitted encoding and allocation schemes, and usage policy, are alike.

A channel is a set of frequencies, often a contiguous range, within a particular band, for which a license is granted.   If the channel consists of a non-contiguous set of frequencies, the manner in which the constituent frequencies are occupied can be specified by law, but only to reduce interference.   A channel is the granularity of allocation for a band.

A cochannel relationship is one in which two channel sites operate in the same channel.

An adjacent channel relationship is one in which two channel sites operate in channels that are immediately adjacent to each other.

A channel site is a particular transmission apparatus at a particular location configured for transmission with a particular power distribution, directionality, and polarization.   A channel site need not be licensed, or transmitting, to be described as a channel site.

A contour is a set of lines along the surface of the earth, typically approximating a circumnavigation of a transmitting antenna system, along which the detected signal strength received from a channel site is equal for a given polarization.   A particular contour associated with a particular channel site roughly approximates a circumferential boundary, but usually includes regions within the circumference with signal strength less than that at the circumferential boundary, and regions beyond the circumference with signal strength greater than that at the circumferential boundary, which appear in a contour as holes and islands, respectively.

The primary region of a channel site is the set of regions within which the transmissions from that channel site can be received successfully, with minimal distracting noise, distortion, or in a digital broadcast system, unrecoverable errors, by a typical, properly configured receiving system.

The primary contour of a channel site is the set of boundaries of its primary region.

The protected region of a channel site is the set of regions within which no interfering signals are permitted to be introduced that are sufficient to render impossible, even with special technical attention and equipment on the part of the receiving party, reception of the transmissions from that channel site with minimal distracting noise, distortion, or in a digital broadcast system, unrecoverable errors. Channel sites within a particular band can have defined multiple protected regions; specifically, a cochannel region and an adjacent channel region can be defined, with the cochannel region fully containing the adjacent channel region.   The protected or cochannel region for a channel site entirely contains the primary region for that channel site.

The protected contour of a channel site is the set of boundaries of its protected region.   The cochannel contour is the set of boundaries of its cochannel region.   The adjacent channel contour is the set of boundaries of its adjacent channel region.

The average protected contour radius of a channel site is the average radius of the innermost circumferential boundary of the protected or cochannel contour of that channel site.

A channel sample is a particular location which falls within the protected region of a licensed or licensable broadcast channel site for a particular channel.   The channel need not be in any way occupied by transmissions detectable or receivable at the particular location for the concept of the channel sample to have meaning at that location and channel.

A band sample is a set of channel samples of equal location, spanning the full range of channels within a particular band.

A band restriction constrains a band to a particular pattern of licensing restrictions.   The simultaneously licensed and licensable channel sites within all of whose protected regions a band sample falls must, taken as a set, be operated or operable under licenses which, taken as a set, satisfy the constraint imposed by the band restriction.

A license schedule is an arbitrary combination of half-hours which begin and end on half-hour boundaries, enumerating the times when a license authorizes and requires broadcasting.   A timeslot is a contiguous series of such half-hours which is preceded and followed by half-hours not included in the license schedule.   A timeslot segment is a half-hour within a particular timeslot.   A licensee is required to broadcast for the duration of each timeslot, starting broadcast within +/-60 seconds of the designated start time and ending broadcast within -60/+30 seconds of the designated end time.

A protected region overlap is a region in which the cochannel or protected regions of two channel sites with a cochannel relationship overlap, or in which the adjacent channel region of one channel site and the primary region of another channel site with an adjacent channel relationship, overlap.   No license can be granted such that a protected region overlap exists involving channel sites with overlapping license schedules.   If the license schedules of two licenses are related such that the associated channel sites have a protected region overlap, then any time their license schedules are such that one channel site is active in the timeslot immediately before the other, broadcasting by the inactive channel site should begin with as little delay as possible following deactivation of the other channel site, though a licensee cannot in general be required to do this or be penalized for not doing it.

License time is the amount of broadcasting time authorized by a license schedule, used in comparisons or over a particular interval.

Band sample time is the license time corresponding to a band sample, and includes all broadcast time both licensed and licensable which is a component of the band sample.

A candidate channel site is a channel site that is compliant with all technical requirements for broadcasting, and for at least 30 minutes every two weeks, has no protected region overlaps with simultaneously active channel sites.

A candidate license schedule is any license schedule on which a candidate channel site can operate without creating a protected region overlap with a simultaneously active channel site.

A content restriction specially constrains the contents of broadcasts performed under the license at issue, typically to non-commercial or various degrees of non-repetitive programming.

A non-commercial use restriction to a license signifies that the broadcasts cannot serve as an advertising arena, and broadcast content consisting of appeals or requests for payment or services must exclusively support the operation of facilities and generation of programs in pursuit of the continuation and improvement of broadcast content.   No more than 2% of the aggregate broadcast time of such licensees, computed on a yearly basis, can consist of appeals or requests for payment or services.

The creation and maintenance of an agency is hereby mandated, whose responsibility is to implement the policy outlined in this section. It is the chief responsiblity of this agency to vigorously and effectively protect licensees from interference to their signals.   The agency is furthermore required to grant licenses such that the spectrum comprising bands is used as fully and efficiently as possible within the constraints of existing and deployed technology, though with a view to making spectrum available for use with novel technologies.   Particularly, the agency must work to assure that as many licenses are granted as is technically possible and practically feasible.

All broadcasters are required to adhere to certain requirements specified generally in this section and more specifically by law. These requirements specify a means whereby a prospective broadcaster with the requisite equipment and resources can easily obtain a license to broadcast from a candidate channel site with a candidate license schedule.   Such applications must be processed and prioritized in the order received.

No license is prerequisite for broadcasting, but a licensed operator always preempts an unlicensed operator.   An operator broadcasting without a license must adhere to the same set of regulations that constrain a licensed operator, except that he need not, and indeed cannot, participate in the schedule coordination system described in this section.   Moreover, no content restrictions apply to an unlicensed operator, aside from prohibition of speech that is contrary to law regardless of method of delivery (i.e.   by contractual obligation, and as enumerated in § Criminal Incitement Prohibition, § False Incitement Prohibition, § Libel, § Right to Secrecy, and § State Secrets).

In the event that an application for a broadcast license would preempt an existing unlicensed broadcaster, the unlicensed broadcaster must be allowed at least 7 days to apply for a license thereby preventing preemption.   The responsibility to be aware of the threat of preemption is solely that of the unlicensed broadcaster, although an agent of the broadcast regulatory agency can at his discretion alert the unlicensed broadcaster.

A license minimally specifies the identity and technical parameters of the channel site, the license schedule, and any license restrictions.

The specification of the type of apparatus acceptable for a particular broadcasting application can address only those technical aspects wherein proper performance is requisite for successful reception, and for the avoidance of interference to other machinery and to other protected radio signals.   No law can require that a particular product, or one of an enumerated list of products, or class of products characterized beyond the foregoing, be used for a particular broadcasting application.

The content of broadcasts cannot be regulated except as set forth generally or specifically in this document.

No more than 25% of the information conveyed in a broadcast channel can be encrypted for access control or privacy, and the encrypted portion must be uncorrelated with the remainder of the channel's contents and unnecessary for enjoyment of the principal virtues of the remainder of the broadcast.

§ Criminal Incitement Prohibition, § False Incitement Prohibition, § Libel, § Right to Secrecy, § State Secrets, and contractual obligations, are of immediate and great applicability to the content of broadcasts.

All licensed broadcasters can be required to coordinate with other broadcasters and with the state to receive and relay brief emergency messages publicizing dangers of weather, natural disasters, industrial and other artificial disasters, and national security.   The state policy implementing this coordination must not require the broadcaster to obtain by his own wherewithal receiving equipment other than that which is required to receive his own transmissions and other transmissions within the band and general encoding scheme within which he operates.

At least 20%, but not more than 70%, of the channels in any three-fold frequency range starting with the range 500KHz-1500KHz and continuing to the range 600MHz-1800MHz, must be allocated for terrestrial broadcasting, except within ranges that are peculiarly subject to anomolous and unpredictable propagation (hop) beyond delineated protected contours, wherein no broadcast band can be allocated. Allocation of broadcast bands must strive for maximal contiguity within a range of frequencies of similar inherent bandwidth and propagational characteristics.   Bands which are regularly prone to hopping are generally most appropriate for use in two way communications between private individuals, and permission to use such bands for this purpose must be easy to secure by an individual of modest technical knowledge and skill.

At least 10%, but not more than 50%, of the channels in any three-fold frequency range starting with the range 1GHz-3GHz and continuing to the range 20GHz-60GHz, must be allocated for satellite broadcasting.

An application to broadcast from a candidate channel site, on a candidate license schedule, must promptly receive a probationary license.   No fee can be charged for this license.

To gain a full license, the probationary licensee is required to adhere without fail to the terms of the license for a period of three months following probationary licensing.   Within that period, any avoidable and substantial deviation from scheduling, content, and technical requirements as lawfully imposed herein and in law based hereon, results in the levying of a sentence of punitive labor on the licensee (or on each of the controlling parties of an incorporated licensee), cancellation of the probationary license, and a 3 month moratorium on new license applications by the former licensee.   An unavoidable deviation is one which is due to a natural disaster, or one due to the criminal action of someone other than the licensee, and cannot be penalized provided a return to regular operation is accomplished as quickly as possible.   When an unavoidable deviation occurs, the probationary period is extended by an amount equal to the interval of non-operation.   Probationary licenses cannot be bought, sold, or otherwise transferred.

After successful completion of a probationary licensing period, the license is promoted to full (permanent), and can be bought, sold, or otherwise transferred, and exercised as delineated in the terms of the license (but in no other manner).

If a credible interference complaint is registered with the agency, verification of proper operation is performed by an agency technician on site.   Both the complaint and the verification are to be performed in strictest secrecy.   A fee can be charged to defray the cost of verification, with a base of an average week's wage, plus a week's average wages for every full day that the technician is fully occupied with the activities of verification, up to a maximum total fee of 5 week's average wages.   If proper operation is verified, the complainant is charged the fee.   Else, the operator is charged, and potentially penalized otherwise.

Any license obtained through transfer returns to probationary status immmediately upon transfer.   Any license held by an incorporated entity returns to probationary status when more than 50% of the directorship vote-weights have changed hands since the last promotion of the license from probationary to full status.   Probation is as for a newly granted license, and ends three months after the transfer except as noted above.

When multiple applications are received for conflicting licenses, a failure to perform during the probationary period by the applicant whose application was first approved on a probationary basis causes the subsequently received application to be processed without further delay and, with amendment if necessary, and only if the applicant is still interested, granted on a probationary basis.   This process continues until a probationary licensee completes the probationary period (at which time, conflicting licenses are cancelled and returned without further processing).

A licensee can hold no more than one probationary license at once, except that demotions to probationary status for infractions is the only mechanism whereby a licensee can hold more than one probationary license at once.

A license can be amended to reflect a modification in technical configuration.   A fee can be charged on the same basis as for a new license, based on the modified configuration.

A license can be amended through the abandonment of any portion of the licensed schedule starting and ending on half-hour boundaries.

Once the probationary period has been successfully completed for a new license for a channel site for which the licensee already holds a full license, the two licenses are combined into a single full license.

A license can be divided into two or more licenses, permitting partial transfer of a license, by dividing its license schedule in some manner but with starting and ending times on half hour boundaries.   The default of a probationary licensee to which one of the licenses is transfered results in reversion of the license to the previous licensee, with immediate consolidation into a single full (non-probationary) license.

A unified database records and integrates detailed information (particularly, primary and protected regions, and schedules) about all licensed channel sites in the nation.   The contents of this database, and suitable access tools, must be published.   Each licensee can choose a unique identifier consisting of up to 12 lowercase letters. The licensee for a particular license can choose a unique identifier consisting of up to 12 lowercase letters.   Licensee identifiers cannot be altered or recycled.   License identifiers can be altered only by a return to a probationary license status for 3 months.

The broadcaster is required to announce the unique identifier of the relevant authorizing license immediately after commencing transmissions and immediately before ending transmissions, and additionally at least once for every contiguous hour of the timeslot except the first hour, at roughly regular intervals.

Broadcasters operating under full licenses in the same channel, with primary regions which overlap, can agree among each other to trade any portion of their schedules, so that one broadcaster can broadcast during some or all of another broadcaster's schedule, provided the total amount of broadcast time is unchanged for each broadcaster, aggregated over a one month period.

Such schedule trades can occur on any time boundary, down to the second, i.e.   they are not restricted to the 30 minute boundaries of schedules proper.

Broadcasters who desire to trade time must submit the details of the trade to the database system at least 1 week ahead of time, but not more than 6 months ahead of time.   The request must be cryptographically signed by both licensees.   The database system certifies that the desired trade does not result in unacceptable interference, informs the submitter of the result with a delay of at most one minute, and if certification succeeded, enters the schedule trade information in the database making it available to the public. Channel site handovers not on 30 minute boundaries must be accomplished in less than 10 seconds.

The average protected contour radius of a license must be at least one mile.

Each terrestrial broadcast band containing frequencies above 54MHz has the following band restrictions (note that the particular selection of channels restricted by a band restriction can vary from location to location, as follows logically from the definitions):

At least 50% of band sample time for a location must be restricted to programming of which 25% of the aggregate broadcast time, computed once a month, must be manually generated programming which has not been previously broadcast in any transmission whose primary region overlaps the primary region of the transmissions comprising the broadcast at issue.

No more than 50% of band sample time for a location can be broadcast under licenses with average protected contour radii exceeding 30 miles.

Each and every terrestrial broadcast band has the following band restrictions:

At least 25% of band sample time for a location must be broadcust under licenses that have a non-commercial use restriction.

At least 5% of that portion of the band sample time for a location that is broadcast under a commercial license, and 25% of that portion of the band sample time for a location that is broadcast under a non-commercial restricted license, must be restricted to licensees who are individuals who hold a single license, the schedule of which does not exceed 8 hours total for every two week period.   At least 20% of the programming these licensees broadcast in a given three month period must have not been previously broadcast by any licensee.   No more than one such licensee among those who are members of a particular organization, and whose channel site has greater than 25% overlap of any primary regions of other such licensees of like affiliation, can overtly espouse the views of that organization for more than 10% of aggregate broadcast time over a one month period.

At least 20% of the band sample time for a location and 25% of the non-commercial band sample time for a location not already restricted in the previous paragraph, must be restricted to licensees who are individual who hold a single license, the schedule of which does not exceed 40 hours total for every two week period.   No more than one such licensee among those who are members of a particular organization, and whose channel site has greater than 25% overlap of any primary regions of other such licensees of like affiliation, can overtly espouse the views of that organization for more than 10% of aggregate broadcast time over a one month period.

In at least 50% of the channels in a band, licensees who operate on that channel for at least 126 hours each week (full time licensees) can preempt licensees who operate for less than 126 hours each week. A full-time licensee who preempts a part-time licensee is required to compensate the latter for the amount the latter paid for its license.

That concludes the terrestrial broadcast band restrictions subsection.

No terrestrial broadcast license can be granted or transferred such that a single licensee is authorized to broadcast in the same band at the same time over two or more channel sites whose primary regions overlap by more than 25% of any of the primary regions.   No satellite broadcast license can be granted or transferred such that a single licensee is authorized to broadcast in the same band at the same time from two or more satellites.   No licensee can hold satellite broadcasting licenses whose total license time exceeds 10% of band sample time for any satellite broadcasting band.

No law can cause the automatic review, or involuntary application for renewal, of a broadcast license in good standing.

Substantial misconduct or underperformance on the part of a licensee, involving interference with lawful broadcasts, or repeated and lengthy failure to broadcast program (either no carrier or no program carried) involving at least three incidents within a month, each of at least one hour's duration, or repeated violation of any of the requirements set forth in this section after at least one official warning has been issued for non-compliance within the previous year, results in a return to a probationary license status, or loss of a probationary license.   The licensee must be promptly informed of any misconduct or underperformance of which he is accused, and must be promptly informed of a change to probationary status.   Only a probationary license can be revoked.



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This is a preliminary draft. Pending changes are in The To-Do List