San Benito County Community Radio, working through Community Access Media Partnership (CMAP) has submitted an application to the Federal Communications Commission for a Low Power FM Broadcasting license. If the application is successful the group will have three years to accomplish building a non-commercial radio station and broadcasting their locally produced programming.
The approval process generally takes 2-3 months, but may be shorter if there are no competing applications in the area. The FCC must approve whether the station’s frequency is adequately separate from other radio signals and that the use of the license is appropriate.
CMAP has offered to build the studio at former City of Hollister Planning/Engineering buildings on Park Hill, which have been tentatively offered to them for a video production studio.
The Low Powered signal, no more than 100 watts, will reach San Juan Bautista and possibly as far as School Road and possibly Tres Pinos. The transmitter is planned, though still to be negotiated, to be located on Park Hill. Since the FM signal is line-of-sight, meaning it will be limited by hillsides and other obstacles, the actual range is yet to be detemined. There is a possilbilty it can be made available on the internet, as well, to other parts of the County.
If the license is granted, there is still much which must be accomplished before San Benito County residents will be able to hear broadcasting on their radios. There will be a need for volunteers to manage and program the station. Ideas for programs will be solicitated, call letters to be chosen and the actual station must be constructed.
San Benito County Community Radio has a Facebook page here.