Jeff Green | Apr 22, 2010
by Victoria Peeling and Jeff Green
Three years after starting to work on the Addington Frontenac Area Radio (AFAR) project, the AFAR committee is starting over again, but this time they are looking at the possibility of satellite radio.
Recently, the committee held a meeting at the Flinton Recreation Hall, in which they discussed options as to where the radio station is headed.
The original plan had been to develop an FM radio station, and while that looked promising for a time, the frequency that was available for AFAR was destined to hit a wall of interference to the east in the form of a 36,000 watt signal from Gatineau, and to the south from a 34,00 watt signal from New York state.
A plan to look to AM did not pan out because it involved the construction of a 300 foot tower, and it was also difficult for members of the AFAR committee to accept because AM is considered to be a dying technology.
Also recently, a couple of the members of AFAR volunteered to set up a meeting with the general manager of the radio station MY FM, in Napanee. They considered an option in which the members of AFAR would supply material to MY FM; they'd be using the MY FM station to talk about things going on in the area that people might not be aware of, in exchange for buying advertising. According to all the attendants at a recent AFAR meeting, this was seen as a possibility.
The committee is also considering other options, including exploring satellite radio stations “We are looking futuristic,” Taylor said, in describing the possibility of setting up a satellite-based radio station.
One of the advantages of satellite is that it would not require a tower and broadcasting equipment, but it would require that listeners subscribe to satellite service, which is a problem.
But the major problem remains the cost of setting up satellite service.
“We will only be able to go the satellite route if we can get a government grant, but in looking for a grant our remote location and the fact that we have tried everything else may work in our favour,” Taylor said.
AFAR members Jim Kitchen, Glenn McFadden, and Marcel Giroux will be exploring the satellite option and looking at the grant environment for reporting back to the entire committee in May.
“It’s sort of pie in the sky for us now,” Taylor said, “but we are not the kind of group that gives up easily.”