Your Low-Power FM License: Assembling the Essential Components

As the impending deadline looms, meticulous preparations become paramount with only a month left in the countdown.

2023 LPFM Radio Filing Window DeadlineWhen your non-profit entity has committed to acquiring a low-power FM license and established a connection with an advocate to streamline the paperwork, the next crucial step is to gather all the necessary components.

Time is of the essence, yet there is ample opportunity to meticulously assemble everything. The application window for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) spans from December 6th to 13th. A wealth of information about the LPFM service awaits on the FCC website.

Explore the indispensable components required for your LPFM application:

Organizational Documentation or Government Charter

Fulfilling this requirement entails submitting your non-profit’s unique Articles of Incorporation to the FCC alongside the LPFM application. If your non-profit is yet to complete state-level incorporation, expedite the process, typically taking only a few days.  We can form the corporation for you if you contact us soon enough. Pay attention to nuanced details outlined in pertinent resources to ensure compliance. Notably, Federal 501(c)3 tax-exempt status is not mandatory for applying for an LPFM Radio license.

Controlling Members’ Names and Addresses

Every organization pursuing an LPFM radio permit must furnish the FCC with a detailed list of its controlling members. For non-profit organizations, this involves providing a comprehensive list of board members, including residential addresses and voting percentages. To meet the criteria for local consideration, either the organizational headquarters must be within 10 miles of the proposed transmitter site, or 75 percent of the board members must reside within that radius. This extends to 20 miles outside of Nielsen top 50 Radio Markets.

Educational Statement

Submission of an Educational Statement accompanies every organization’s LPFM radio application. This statement should delve into the organization’s unique educational objectives, elucidating how introducing an FM broadcast will actively contribute to those distinctive goals. Ensure the statement is rich in pertinent details, such as accreditation documents for educational institutions, specific program examples, and a sample weekly schedule. While the FCC won’t delve into the minutiae, they are keen on understanding how the allocated frequency will serve as a beacon for community enlightenment. The educational statement becomes a documented part of the organization’s public record.

Tower Site Assurance

LPFM Radio Tower ContructionIt’s imperative that your organization secures a location for the transmission tower and provides reasonable assurance for antenna installation. Submit precise longitude and latitude coordinates to the FCC, ensuring accuracy to avoid disqualification. Engage in a detailed discussion with the property owner, establishing a “meeting of the minds” in FCC parlance. At this stage, a formal property contract is unnecessary, but you must provide the FCC with the property owner’s name and phone number for verification.

Selected Channel and Engineering Study (if required)

Leverage our LPFM Radio Channel Finder to search for frequencies in your area and at your tower-site location. Channel selection involves considering unique factors such as interference and competition. New FM stations must adhere to distinct distance separations from existing stations. An engineering study may be necessary if the chosen frequency has pre-existing stations on adjacent channels. This study serves as distinctive evidence that the new signal won’t cause interference. Given the specialized nature of this work, professional assistance may be sought.

For additional guidance on LPFM applications, non-profits can get support from The LPFM Store with unique expertise in the field. As the deadline approaches, the emphasis on crafting a robust and distinct application is crucial before strategizing for success.