Station owner defies FCC order to shut down repeaters

Posted: Friday, May 25, 2001

KENAI (AP) -- The Federal Communications Commission last week ordered seven radio station repeaters off the air across the Kenai Peninsula and on Kodiak Island. But station owner Dave Becker of Peninsula Communications Inc. in Homer has continued to broadcast.

''We still haven't been formally served, and until we are, we will still remain on the air,'' Becker said from his office in Homer Tuesday.

Becker intends to file an appeal for an emergency stay with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.

''If we get it out of the hands of the FCC and in the hands of an impartial set of judges, we'll have the chance to make our case,'' Becker said.

The FCC order said Becker needed to take the repeaters off the air by midnight last Saturday. There are two repeaters in Kenai and Soldotna, which rebroadcast KWVV. Repeaters in Anchor Point, Kachemak City and Homer rebroadcast KPEN. Two in Kodiak rebroadcast KPEN and KWVV.

While the FCC canceled the call signs for the seven translators, it allowed Becker to continue using two repeaters in Seward. But that is only for 30 days, to give Becker time to show why they should stay on the air under waivers the FCC granted in 1995 and 1997.

Becker's competitors praised the FCC decision.

''This is long overdue,'' said Dennis Bookey, vice president of radio stations KVOK and KRXX in Kodiak, which compete against two of Becker's repeaters.

Chester Coleman, owner of Kenai radio stations KSLD and KKIS, agreed.

''I think it's unfortunate that the commission has taken so long to get (Becker) to honor the rules put into effect in 1994,'' Coleman said from his office in San Francisco.

In 1994, the FCC decided radio stations across the country must turn off repeater stations outside the coverage area of their parent station's signal. Translators are allowed inside a coverage area so areas that get scratchy or no reception can be filled in.

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