There are many scams that target low power FM (LPFM) station applicants.
Applicants report they have received e-mails or letters offering to “jet start” an LPFM station or telling them to buy equipment or services that may not be useful or necessary. Perpetrators of these scams may refer to the equipment or station as a “Part 15 device” or “Part 15 transmitter.”
Part 15 devices or transmitters are low power, non-licensed transmitters. Examples of these types of transmitters are cordless phones, baby monitors, garage door openers, wireless home security systems and hundreds of other types of common electronic equipment that utilize very little power. Operators of Part 15 devices are not required to obtain a license from the FCC to use them.
Perpetrators of these scams advertise the Part 15 devices as a means to start an LPFM radio station. Some perpetrators have advised potential applicants to use the perpetrator’s expertise/services (for a fee) to prevent FCC rejection of their applications. Let’s be clear, Part 15 has nothing to do with LPFM radio.
To Minimize the Risk of This Happening to You
Don’t be fooled into buying a product or service that is unnecessary. Buying a Part 15 device or transmitter will not automatically allow you to start an LPFM radio station. The FCC authorizes all licenses for LPFM radio stations. The license is free and is required before construction or operation of the station can begin.
To start an LPFM radio station, potential applicants must file an application when their applicable filing window is open. When new filing window dates are announced, notices are posted on this website.
Remember, use discretion and don’t let anyone fool or scare you into buying a product or service that may be unnecessary for the licensing or operation of an LPFM station.
Part 15 AM – An alternative to licensing
Now that we’ve told you of the evils that some scam artists are using to fool you. Let’s be clear that not all Part 15 broadcasting is useless and sold by scam artists. Through the use of multiple AM transmitters an entire city can be covered, without an FCC license! We recommend the Rangemaster units when a license is not available in your area. These are FCC certified units, this is very important and may be your only line between you and a steep fine. There are many reputable dealers of these certified Part 15 transmitters, LPFM Store being one of those.
Setting up a Part 15 station to cover a city can be expensive and complicated. We will always suggest licensing first with the backup plan being Part 15 broadcasting. Either way, rest assured that the LPFM Store can guide you through this maze and get you on the air.