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New Opportunities for LPFM

radio guide logoAs 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.

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Rule Changes in the LPFM Radio 6th Report and Order

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.

Third Adjacent Channel

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.

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LPFM Radio Holding Pattern Ends Soon

Low Power FM Radio should have a wave of new radio stations in 2013. The filing window is expected to open in the Spring / Summer of 2013. We are currently waiting for the FCC to codify the new rules by publishing them in the Federal Register This should occur in late September / October 2012. The filing window will be opened shortly after. Continue reading
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