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FCC May Be Expediting LPFM Change Apps

Construction applications from 2013 LPFM window are set to expire

The Federal Communications Commission may be in the process of expediting some minor change applications for low-power FM stations that may be in danger of reaching the expiration of their three-year construction permits.

That’s the assessment from low-power advocacy group REC Networks, which watches the FCC’s LPFM processes closely.

“I don’t think the FCC is ‘officially’ expediting LPFM minor changes, but I have noticed that some minor changes that do not have a lot of controversy behind them have been granted sooner than later,” said Michi Bradley, founder of the LPFM advocacy group.

She said she has seen a “flood” of license to cover applications recently. “I do feel the FCC is aware” of the issue.

A number of LPFM stations are coming up against the expiration of their original CPs. The situation is made more tenuous by the fact that the FCC has been mum on whether it plans to open another LPFM application filing window. As far as Bradley has heard, “there has been no recent talk of another window in the future.”

Bradley said REC Networks is part of a grassroots movement to try to “save” as many of the 2013 LPFM CPs, “because once they are gone, they are gone.” The most recent LPFM application filing window was held in the fall of 2013.

REC Networks recently made an offer to help current LPFM grantees with expiring permits who still want to get on the air; that includes those who have not been able to construct in their current location but have the necessary broadcast equipment and have identified a potential new site.

“We … understand that some grantees lack extensive funds to not only get the equipment but also the professional services that are needed to move the permit to another site, especially if a second adjacent channel waiver is needed,” REC Networks stated in a posting.

Radio World has reached out to the FCC for comment.