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FCC Will Open a New Window for LPFMs

There are currently about 2,000 of them in the country

Editor’s note: The window for filing applications for new LPFM stations has been pushed back. It will now run from Dec. 6 to Dec. 13. Learn more here


Some new low-power stations will be coming to the FM band in the United States.

The FCC Media Bureau today announced a filing window for applications for new LPFM construction permits. It will be open Nov. 1 to Nov. 8.

A window has been expected for some time, in the wake of the 2021 window for new noncom educational applications.

“The window is available for LPFM proposals in the entire FM band (Channels 201–300),” the commission noted.

“This will be the first LPFM filing window since 2013, and we encourage potential applicants to begin familiarizing themselves with the application process.”

New applications must be filed electronically on FCC Form 2100, Schedule 318 in the Bureau’s Licensing Management System. That Schedule 318 is being updated; the new version will be released soon, “well in advance” of the filing window.

The bureau said it plans to release detailed information about filing procedures and requirements later. “Interested applicants also may monitor the Audio Division Web Page for information and developments.”

There are 1,999 licensed LPFMs in the country, according to the most recent FCC broadcast station data. The low-power service was created in 2000; stations are authorized for noncommercial educational broadcasting only, to operate with an effective radiated power of no more than 100 watts at 100 feet antenna height above average terrain. LPFM stations are not protected from interference that may be received from other classes of FM stations.  Stations are available to noncommercial educational entities and public safety and transportation organizations, but not to individuals or commercial operations.