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(a) The Girdwood/Turnagain Arm microwave television distribution system, which provides service to Bird Creek, Indian, and Girdwood, and the Kenai Peninsula microwave television distribution system, which provides service to Soldotna, Kenai, Homer, and other communities on the western Kenai Peninsula, have four channels available for broadcasting television signals. The Department of Administration will allocate the four channels as follows:
(1) the department will set aside one channel for use by the Anchorage Public Broadcasting Station; use of the channel will be provided free of charge to that station in recognition of the unique public service it provides;
(2) the department will allocate the remaining three channels to qualified applicants; successful applicants will be issued nontransferable access to and use of the microwave television distribution systems through the issuance of two-year term contracts; additional applications will be accepted when existing contracts expire or when vacancies on the microwave systems occur.
(b) A qualified applicant under (a)(2) of this section is any licensed broadcaster in the Anchorage area who agrees to pay an annual maintenance fee determined under (c) of this section and who provides a broad range of programming of interest to the general public, such as a variety from among the following types of programs: entertainment; national and local news, sports, and weather; locally produced programming; documentaries; nature programs; and public service announcements.
(c) Before accepting applications the department will determine the annual maintenance fee to be paid by each applicant and will state the amount on the application forms. The annual maintenance fee will be based on
(1) the estimated personnel cost to the state for routine repairs to the systems;
(2) the estimated transportation cost to the state associated with repairs to the systems;
(3) the estimated cost of routine electronic repair parts; and
(4) other costs related to maintenance of the Girdwood/Turnagain Arm and Kenai microwave television distribution systems.
(d) If there are more qualified applicants then available channels, the department will determine the successful applicants by
(1) using data compiled by a nationally recognized television rating service which is acceptable to the commissioner and which measures the viewing preferences of television audiences in the Anchorage market place; if rating service data is used as provided in this paragraph.
(A) the qualified applicants will be ranked from highest to lowest, based on each applicant's unweighted average ratings in the Anchorage market place for the four rating periods preceding the application period; applicants with unweighted average ratings within three percentage points of each other will be considered equally ranked;
(B) channel allocations will be made to the highest ranking applicant or applicants, and then to the next lower ranking applicant or applicants, until the available channels have been allocated; if the number of applicants with equally ranked ratings exceeds the remaining number of available channels, the department will select the successful equally-ranked applicants by random drawing from among them; or
(2) if ratings from a nationally recognized rating service acceptable to the commissioner are not available, by random drawing from among the qualified applicants.
(e) If there are fewer qualified applicants than available channels, the department will, in its discretion, offer use of the vacant channel(s) to the state university system for educational programming.
(f) The department will send to each applicant written notice of the department's determination under (a)(2) of this section.
(g) An applicant aggrieved by the department's determination under (a)(2) of this section may appeal the decision to the commissioner. An appeal under this subsection must be received by the department within 30 days after the date of the department's written notice of the determination.
History: Eff. 12/17/92, Register 124
Authority: AS 44.21.305
AS 44.21.310 (b)
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Last modified 7/05/2006