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FCC To Weigh LPFM and FM Translator Applications

The FCC has a busy schedule for its open meeting on March 21.  Notably, the docket includes consideration of proceedings that have stirred conflict between FM translator applicants and those seeking to grow the reach of low-power radio (LPFM). 

The FCC Commissioners plan to consider a proposal intended to establish “a market-specific FM translator processing scheme”, measures to thwart translator-trafficking, and possible opportunities to rebroadcast AM stations on FM translators.  They will also look at potential rules for LPFM including “second adjacent channel waiver procedures, interference remediation requirements, and modification of eligibility, ownership, and selection standards.”

The Local Community Radio Act, signed into law by President Obama in January 2011, opened the doors for new LPFM stations.  However, thousands of FM translator applications have been pending for almost a decade on radio frequencies that many in the LPFM community would like to squeeze into, particularly in urban areas.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations