UTICA-ROME — NPR news/talk fans in the Copper City could soon have another option for tuning-in the NPR affiliate from the Port City. The FCC has granted a construction permit for a new FM translator in Rome to simulcast Oswego’s WRVO. When construction is complete, the signal at 92.3FM is expected to cover the city’s center and surrounding areas.
In today’s edition of its Daily Digest, the FCC announced its November 7 approval of a construction permit for translator W222BU. The signal is licensed for 120 watts of effective radiated power from an antenna located zero meters above average terrain, 28 meters above ground level at the transmitter site.
The applicant for this construction permit is the State University of New York (SUNY), which indicated it W222BU would simulcast WRVO, which is also operated by SUNY, based on the SUNY Oswego campus.
According to a signal contour map on the FCC website, W222BU, when built, will transmit from an existing tower located along an connector road between West Dominick Street and State Route 825, not too far from the Griffiss Park interchange from State Route 49, the Utica-Rome Expressway. Although the application says the site is zero meters above average terrain, TV news live truck operators can attest that the site is located on a perch high enough to send clear microwave-based live shots to Utica and even Syracuse.
That location, antenna height and power level are expected to allow W222BU to include the “inner district” of the City of Rome, along with parts of nearby Floyd, Whitestown and Oriskany within its 60 dBu service contour.
As with any construction permit, SUNY has three years to build the new signal, get it on the air and file for a “license to cover.” If that doesn’t happen by November 7, 2016, the permit automatically expires.
WRVO already has a presence in the market by way of repeater 91.9 WRVN Utica, broadcasting with 1,900 watts from a tower on the SUNY Institute of Technology campus in Marcy. The western boundary of WRVN’s 60 dBu service contour just barely reaches far enough into Rome to hit the proposed transmitter site for W222BU.