FCC adopt new LPFM rules

November 28th, 2007 | by Andrew Ó Baoill |

It was late – after 9pm EST – last night before the FCC meeting finally began, but it looks like they’ve adopted some useful changes to the rules governing LPFM:

  • Allows the transfer of LFPM licenses subject to significant limitations.
  • Reinstates the Commission’s rule that all LPFM authorization holders be local to the community and limits ownership to one station per licensee.
  • Clarifies that repetitious, automated programming does not meet the local origination requirement.
  • Encourages voluntary time-sharing agreements between applicants.
  • Imposes an application cap on 2003 FM translator window filers.
  • Limits the responsibility of LPFM stations to resolve interference caused to subsequently authorized full-service stations.
  • Establishes a procedural framework for considering short-spacing waivers and a going forward displacement policy for LPFM stations.

The rule changes have been broadly welcomed by the Prometheus Radio Project, if with some caveats:

Today, Chairman Martin and Commissioners Adelstein and Copps should be congratulated for moving to protect and expand low power FM radio – while also understanding that there are many issues we can resolve through further research and conversation. The Federal Communications Commission has taken a number of important steps today towards a better future for low power radio stations and their communities. We appreciate the partial support of Commissioners Mcdowell and Tate, and feel confident that the concerns they raised are addressable to their satisfaction. 

Pete Tridish points out that the translator issue – which I mentioned in my recent post – has been partially addressed in a decision “to limit translator applications from 2003 to 10 applications per entity” but that more discussion is needed to come up with ways that will “allow the reasonable use of translators, while preserving significant opportunity for community radio stations to be born.”There’s a lot of detail in the order, and in a new Notice of Proposed Rule-making, calling for comment on a range of further proposals, including calling on Congress to remove the third-channel adjacent restrictions, and proposing that the next filing window in radio be for more LPFM stations. I haven’t had a chance to chew on the detail yet, but definitely a lot of good news there, with more (potentially) to come.

  1. One Response to “FCC adopt new LPFM rules”

  2. By Dr. Hansen on Dec 11, 2007 | Reply

    I have an LPFM that is beeing steppe on by a translator. When will the FCC make a final ruling?

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