Students and teachers running an amateur radio station at Orem High School are worried that a new Christian radio station coming into the area is going to interfere with their station.
Stephen L. Garrett, adviser and general manager of KOHS 91.7 FM, said representatives of Family Radio Inc., Oakland, Calif., have applied for a construction permit to operate on the same frequency as KOHS.The Christian station would broadcast from Salt Lake County, which, theoretically is far enough from Orem that the two stations would not overlap, but Garrett believes they will.
"We're very audible to the State Capitol. We can be heard very clearly there," he said. "I don't want interference with our signal, and I think we'll interfere. I don't have the money to modify our signal."
About 100 students are involved in operating the Orem High station, which operates with funds from the Alpine School District.
KOHS and several other local stations filed petitions with the Federal Communications Commission to stop the new station from broadcasting on the frequency, but Garrett said they were "turned down flat."
Jane Fuller, new projects assistant administrator for Family Radio, said her company has been given permission to construct a transmitter site in Bountiful for station KUFR 91.7 FM.
"Our signal and our frequency is totally clear, or we wouldn't have been given a construction permit," Fuller said. "Our signal will not interfere with anyone else."
But Garrett insists there will be a problem.
"I don't want to have to worry about another station on the frequency this close. This company is quietly going around acquiring construction permits (for Christian broadcasting stations throughout the nation)," he said. "I have never even been officially notified by anyone that this station was coming into existence."
No date has yet been set for the start of the new station, but Garrett and his students are not looking forward to it.
The Orem station has been operated by students since 1974. It plays Top 40 and new wave music in a non-commercial format.
"We have a measurable audience and the kids learn a lot," Garrett said.