Channel Spacing Is Concern as FCC Crafts More LPFM Rules

One of the main points low-power FM advocate Prometheus Radio Project has made to the FCC as the agency crafts expanded service rules for LPFMs concerns second-adjacent waivers.

Prometheus representatives say a second-adjacent frequency waiver standard modeled after the FM translator rules is appropriate. Current second-adjacent frequency restrictions keep LPFM stations out of urban areas because of lack of frequency space, according to the advocacy group.

Prometheus Lobbies FCC on LPFM

NAB opposes any relaxation of the second-adjacent channel spacing requirements. NAB executives have reiterated to FCC officials that the broadcast lobby interprets the Local Community Radio Act as prohibiting the commission from reducing the minimum second-adjacent channel distance separation requirements between low-power and full-service FM stations, but permits waivers under certain circumstances.

NAB believes such waivers should be considered only in “truly exceptional circumstances,” according to a summary of their conversation.

NPR too urged the agency to only issue such waivers under limited circumstances “as Congress intended so that newly constructed LPFM stations are not forced to ameliorate interference problems, including terminating service,” the broadcaster wrote in a summary of a lobbying visit.

NPR cautioned the FCC to be careful not to upset the balance of interests as it facilitates additional LPFM service yet also protects primary and existing secondary broadcast service from interference.

LPFM advocates Prometheus Radio project and the Amherst Alliance support the concept of the commission approving second-adjacent channel spacing waivers more routinely.

NPR also raised concerns about “significant alterations” to the LPFM service rules, in particular authorizing 250 watt LPFMs, which would depart from the LPFM service Congress envisioned when it authorized the service, according to NPR. LPFM advocates want their stations to have more power.


Want to read more stories like this? Sign up for your free Radio World NewsBytes newsletter here.

Rating People: 1   Average Rating:     
Comment List:

The Local Community Radio Act says that LPFM and translators should be treated equally. Ultimately, only way to do that is to treat them identically. Translators are not a source of interference, because there is no area where people could be that a 2nd or 3rd adjacent interfering signal can be strong enough to interfere with the signal being protected. The same rule should apply to LPFMs.
By Bob Moore on 11/22/2012
I'm wondering why does NAB and NPR always oppose anything about LPFMs? What are they scare about!? In LPFM new talents and programming could evolve, to make FM/AM-radio exiting to listen, not like todays auto-jock-computerized-boring-radio. LPFM isn't a competitor to NAB and NPR. The competitor are services like Pandora, Spotify and the listeners own music on his/her smartphone.
By Dennis Nilsson on 11/12/2012
I program a 100 watt LP-FM. With good propagation, it gets about 10-12 miles. With bad propagation, it gets about 5 miles. An LP-FM should be able to be heard consistently 10 miles around its transmitter site. The NAB is advocating for the big broadcasters, yet their charge is to promote all of broadcasting. LP-FMs should be allowed 250 watts, where stations will fit. It's not unreasonable.
By Kevin Fodor on 11/11/2012

Post your comment

Your Name:  Required
Your Mail:       Your email will not be published.
Your Site:    

max. 800 characters

Posts are reviewed before publication, typically the next business morning. Radio World encourages multiple viewpoints, though a post will be blocked if it contains abusive language, or is repetitive or spam. Thank you for commenting!