The Mile High Radio Club is moving forward with implementing the agreement with the Idyllwild Fire Protection District to operate WNKI.

Despite MHRC board member Jeff Smith’s concerns raised privately to President Bill Tell and publicly, members at the Jan. 8 meeting felt they had the talent to capably and prudently carry out their responsibilities in the agreement.

Basically, Tell has said the club intends to comply with Federal Communications Commission regulations and if a problem arises, it will be addressed.

“As stated in several places in the WNKI agreement, all actions concerning the station must be consistent with FCC rules and regulations. Standard operating procedures are to be developed to ensure proper consideration is given to the needs of the public and the requirements of the FCC. To the extent it is determined any provision of the WNKI agreement is not consistent with FCC rules and regulations, the parties will adjust their conduct accordingly,” Tell told Smith in an email.

To the members at the meeting, Tell read aloud portions of several emails to him from Smith and his responses to Smith. In general, Tell referred to several sections of the FCC rules, which grant licensees some discretion on broadcast content.

While the FCC did state, “[we] … believe that [Travel Information Stations] should retain [their] historical focus on serving the needs of the traveling public,” Tell stressed that also includes Hill residents who need to know the conditions in case of an emergency.

“This position was reinforced with the statement in the rules that broadcasting emergency information and information related to imminent threats to safety and property, whether travel-related or not, is already allowed under our Part 90 rules,” he said.

Interpretation and implementation of the agreement pursuant to these rules is still subject to the operator, Tell said. The FCC states, “We are persuaded … that the Part 90 rules should allow for discretion on the part of the TIS licensees regarding use of the TIS service. Given their intimate knowledge of local conditions and considering the limited area of operation of TIS base stations, TIS licensees are in the best position to determine what constitutes an ‘imminent [threat to] safety-of-life or property.’”

Also, section 90.405 (a) (2) permits communications directly related and necessary to those activities which make the licensee eligible for the station license. The FCC continues with “ … the licensee providing such service may transmit communications related to the activities for which the parties receiving the service would be eligible to be licensed.”

The club is in the process of developing its operating procedures for WNKI and forming committees for its operation and management.