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Congress Scales Back LPFM

Congress Scales Back LPFM

The immediate number of allocations possible for the FCC’s new class of low-power FM service will be scaled back dramatically and impact mostly small and medium markets. Before lawmakers left town and ended the 106th session of Congress, they passed a bill that restores third-adjacent channel protection requirements for the new FM service. It also prohibits the FCC from eliminating or changing minimum distance separations for third-adjacent channels without authorization from Congress.
NAB, National Public Radio and the International Association of Audio Information Services applauded the bill that the president was expected to sign.
The bill requires the FCC to have a third party conduct interference tests in nine markets to determine if third-adjacent channel protections should be retained in the future.
Anyone who has operated an unlicensed station would be ineligible for an LPFM license.