Even though we would love to have a signal in every city in America, several factors determine whether we are able to put a signal in a particular area. The main factor is the availability of frequencies. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates all broadcast frequencies in the United States. Currently, most markets do not have any frequencies available. One option we have is to buy an existing high-powered station, but most of these stations sell for millions of dollars, a price generally out of WPER’s reach.
Building low-powered stations (called translators, because they “translate” from one frequency to another) is also an option. Though translators do not cover as large an area as a full-power station, they still provide usable service. Unfortunately, the FCC has not accepted new translator applications for a number of years.
Because full-power stations take priority over translators, if an existing translator causes interference with another full-power station (even a new station), the translator must be removed.
Even with permission from the FCC, a station or translator can still take years to build. FCC and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, availability of land and tower space, local zoning laws, EPA restrictions and even weather can affect the timetable of building a signal or make it impossible to build.