Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Petition For Rulmaking Calls For LPFM Power Increase

Low-power FM proponent REC Networks has asked the FCC to approve a power increase for LPFMs, calling such a boost the next logical step in the growth of the service.

REC Networks has filed a Petition for Rulemaking intended to help LPFM stations enhance their signal within their current three mile service area as well as reach out to more rural areas.

In its filing, REC is asking the Federal Communications Commission to allow 50 to 75 percent of currently authorized LPFM stations to increase their effective radiated power from 100 watts (based on 30 meters height above average terrain) to 250 watts increasing the average protected service contour from 3½ miles to about a 4½ mile radius.

Unlike the previous proposals filed by The Amherst Alliance and the Catholic Radio Association which focused on rural expansion and was tabled by the FCC due to disagreement in the community, the REC petition focuses first on enhancing the listener experience within the "three mile zone", the prime area that current LP-100 stations serve.  Many LPFM stations are experiencing issues with building penetration and other issues within the three mile zone

Unlike the previous LPFM proposals which restricted upgrades to rural stations only, the new LP-250 Petition for Rulemaking calls for no geographic restrictions on the upgrading of LPFM stations, according to REC Networks Founder Michelle Bradley.

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