Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Report: FCC Considering New Class Of FM Stations

The FCC Media Bureau is circulating a notice of proposed rulemaking on whether to create a new class of FM radio stations in the United States.

Chairman Ajit Pai made the announcement at MMTC’s annual Broadband and Social Justice Summit.

“This reform could allow hundreds of Class A FM stations to broadcast with increased power,” he said, noting that MMTC in the past has supported the idea as small and minority-owned stations gain access to capital. “This idea has been sitting around for a while — long before I got into this position,” Pai said, according to his prepared remarks.

The NPRM seeks public input on whether to change the rules to create Class C4.

According to RadioWorld, the idea is one that has been pushed by broadcaster Matt Wesolowski, CEO of SSR Communications Inc., licensee of WYAB 103.9 FM in Flora, Miss., and by David Honig, president emeritus and senior advisor of the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council and president of MMTC Media and Telecom Brokers. They were co-petitioners for the C4 FM allocation.

They’ve argued in favor of a new 12 kW “C4 Class” FM allocation, saying that the attention paid in recent years to LPFMs, FM translators and AM revitalization has not done much to benefit smaller commercial FM operations.

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