Friday, November 30, 2012

FCC Okays Expanding LPFM, Translators

The FCC Friday passed more rules to help expand the low-power FM service that could lead to thousands of local community-oriented stations.

RadioWorld is reporting at the same time the commission has explained how it will treat the some 6,000 pending FM translator applications.

It plans to open a filing window for new LPFMs on Oct. 15, of 2013.

The agency bumped up the national cap on pending FM translator applications that one entity can pursue from 50 to 70, as long as no more than 50 are in the top 150 markets. It relaxed the local cap of one application per entity to up to three applications one company can pursue in more rural markets.

The agency also relaxed the criteria for LPFMs seeking a waiver for second-adjacent channel spacing requirement in order to locate a new LPFM, something NAB and NPR had opposed.

The agency is releasing mapping tools for LPFMs to help them find open channels, and for the first time, releasing the source code.

The commission passed a compromise that adds a main studio requirement for LPFMs and retains the eight-hour-per-week program requirement. It did not act on the LP250 watt proposal.

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