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Amherst Alliance to FCC: Don’t Forget About 10 Watt LPFMs

Advocates reiterate support for lower wattage LPFMs in urban areas in advance of agency public meeting

At least one low-power FM proponent doesn’t want the FCC to forget about someday licensing 10 watt stations, especially in urban areas.

As the FCC prepares to tackle some FM translator and LPFM issues in its public meeting later this month, the Amherst Alliance has written a letter to all FCC commissioners and Media Bureau Chief Peter Doyle, reiterating that the group supports the possible licensing of 10 watt LPFMs.

The Connecticut-based group was reacting to a posting on a Nexus LPFM listserv that indicated that Doyle reportedly said either during or after a session at the recent National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville,something to the effect that low-power advocates are generally more interested in more wattage, not less.

Amherst Alliance President Don Schellhardt wrote that the alliance does support 250 watt LPFMs for example, “but only when and if they are licensed in rural areas, where lower population density justifies longer transmission ranges and enough spectrum is available to accommodate multiple LP250 stations in many communities. At the same time, our record of prioritizing LP10 stations in urban areas, where the spectrum used by a single LP100 station could block the licensing of two or more LP10 stations, goes back” to 1999.

At its March 21 public meeting, the agency plans to consider a Report & Order detailing how it will handle FM translator applications that have been pending since 2003 and consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on LPFM.

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