The new low-power FM radio stations are arriving

Looking at the totals, there are 70 new LPFM stations in the database. Low power FM is a type of radio station created by Congress over 10 years ago as an alternative to “pirate FM radio” – A legal licensed radio station of up to 100 Watts that can reach only up to 5 miles – without most of the onerous rules and regulations of a “real” FM station.

The NAB goon squad (the FCC) ignored the will of Congress and stalled licensing of these radio stations for over 10 years to give time for religious satellite broadcasters and commercial stations an opportunity to rush in first with translator applications – they are just repeating some other radio station’s signal, squeezing out potential local FM stations. The FCC also demanded that LPFM stations have EAS devices to allow the White House to seize control of the signal in the event of a national emergency. The EAS device probably costs more than the rest of the station. LPFM stations are not required to stay on the air all day, and have no required staff to maintain a paper log of when an EAS test happened.

Low Power FM is designed for local radio that is community-based and not for profit. LPFM is not restricted to the noncommercial band from 88-92 MHz, but can be granted licenses in the commercial portion as well – the part the NAB considers to be “theirs”, even if no commercial station currently has a license.

FM translators and LPFM licenses are considered to have equal priority with the FCC, but less than a Full power license. If an FM translator or LPFM station interferes with a protected full power station, or the full power station wishes to move its transmitters toward the LPF
M or increase power, it has priority – and the other stations must change frequencies, move its transmitter or reduce power, or cease operations.

The FCC is now considering creating a new type of lower power full power FM license called C4. By creating a new license class in between A (6 kW) and C3 (25 kW), stations could upgrade from A to C4 and create priority over LPFM stations, forcing them off the air. They’re going to discuss this on August 18th

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