Vermont Public Radio fans in Montreal can exhale. At least for now.
On Monday, the CRTC denied an application from Concordia’s CJLO to add an FM retransmitter at 107.9 FM, which would block out VPR in downtown Montreal and an arguable radius around it.
But the commission makes it clear that objections from VPR and its fans had nothing to do with the decision: “because VPR operates a U.S. station, its station was not considered in the examination of this application.”
This is consistent with a previous decision allowing CHLT-FM in Sherbrooke to move to 107.7 FM despite interference problems it might cause VPR listeners in the townships.
Instead, the CRTC determined that CJLO had not presented a compelling technical need to get the new allocation, particularly since 107.9 would be one of the last frequencies available for a station in Montreal.
More about this decision below and in this story in the Montreal Gazette.
Since the announcement last month that Concordia’s CJLO radio station has applied for an FM retransmitter downtown to allow listeners at the downtown campus to hear it, but would block out Vermont Public Radio for many more, there’s been a lot of questions, debate and differences of opinion about this proposal.
The CRTC has already received 645 interventions, almost all of whom are radio listeners who support one side or the other. The majority are VPR listeners responding to the organization’s public call-out on its website. Others are CJLO fans who want to be able to hear the station on the downtown campus and say this is the only practical way to do so.
In most (but not all) cases, the interveners don’t have bad things to say about the other side. The VPR fans hope for an alternative solution to the reception problem. Both CJLO and VPR say they support the other and don’t want to prevent anyone from being able to listen to the other.
I look a bit deeper into this application in this story for The Gazette, which appears in Friday’s paper. Below, I’ll tackle some of the questions and perceptions that people have and try to come up with some unbiased answers to them.
A map of potential interference between VPR and CJLO on 107.9 FM, based on terrain data, created by Yves R. Hamel and Associates (click for larger)