In many ways, LPFM stations are just like any other radio station: they must comply with FCC regulations regarding interference, indecency and emergency response, and their signal can be heard with an ordinary FM radio. The similarities end there. In… Continue reading
As is well known by now, the FCC at last has finalized its plan to address the backlog of about 6,500 FM translator applications that still linger from a March 2003 filing window and to open a new filing opportunity for Low Power FM (“LPFM”) stations.
The FCC’s task was both prodded and complicated by the Local Community Radio Act of 2010 (the “LCRA”), which required that it balance translator grants against the need for preserving filing opportunities for new LPFMs. In resolving the choice between the two media, the five commissioners made it clear that the FCC overwhelmingly favors LPFM as holding a promise to expand locally originated service to narrow constituencies.
The FCC recently released the latest rules changes for LPFM Radio. Recnet has provided an overview of the FCC’s Fifth Order on Reconsideration and Sixth Report and Order on Low Power FM.
Section 7(1) stations (those that do not meet the second/third adjacent spacing in 73.807) must eliminate any actual interference they may cause to the signal of any authorized station in areas where that station is “regularly used” (same rules as translators).
Section 7(3) stations (all LPFM stations) must address complaints of third adjacent channel interference within the affected station’s protected contour.
Third adjacent channel protections remain in effect in respect to foreign FM stations and assignments as well as FM stations that are operating a radio reading service for the blind.
Previously we reported the LPFM window was expected to open before the Presidential election. This information came from several sources at the FCC at the time. Everyone one was on board for a filing in 2012. The FCC even fast tracked the proceeding. The FCC achieved much progress in a very short period of time towards opening the window. Recently, though, that expected time period has been extended due to several items being proposed to amend the LPFM rules. Some of the proposed changes include removal of the LP10 class and replacing it with a new 250 Watt class.
In addition, our FCC source informed us that some LPFM advocacy groups have requested the Commission to delay the window by as much as six months following the codification of the new LPFM rules. Their reason being, so they could more effectively advertise the opportunity to the general public. Currently the FCC has stated they expect the filing window to open in the Spring and no later than Fall 2013. We are working with Conexus.fm LPFM advocacy to cancel or reduce this delay and will report further developments here.