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Bill to Create More LPFMs Passes House

Measure would drop third-adjacent channel protections for full-power FMs

By a voice vote, the House passed a bill to drop third-adjacent channel protections for most full-power FMs in order to fit more low-power FMs on the band.

Because of new interference-protection requirements for LPFM stations in the 2009 bill, NAB dropped its longstanding opposition to the Local Community Radio Act, according to LPFM supporter, the Prometheus Radio Project. Up until now, NAB has said it supports the idea of LPFM but not at the expense of full-power, local stations experiencing interference.

NPR previously had been trying to craft a compromise and dropped its objections after obtaining a carve-out for NCE FMs airing a radio reading service.

“The NAB and NPR have removed their objections and do not oppose this bill. The time has come to make the airwaves available to the people they serve,” said lead co-sponsor Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa.

The bill now moves to the Senate, where no action is yet slated. House Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said HR 1147, the Local Community Radio Act, “removes a statutory barrier to the creation of potentially thousands of new low power stations.”

As we’ve reported, House bill (H.R. 1147) retains third-adjacent channel protection from potential LPFM interference for full-power noncommercial FMs and noncommercial FM translator and booster stations that broadcast radio reading services via an analog subcarrier frequency. The measure also includes interference remediation procedures. These changes require LPFM stations to resolve interference to other stations, if it were to occur.