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LPFM Advocates Debate Window Scenarios

The longer the shutdown lasts, the farther out the window would appear to start

Low-power FM proponents are trying to figure out a plan to propose to the FCC about the planned LPFM application window once the government shutdown is over and the commission reopens.

It’s unclear now how long the shutdown will continue and when all of the commission’s electronic databases would be accessible so those helping would-be LPFM owners can prepare their station applications.

If the shutdown ends before Oct. 15, Christian Community Broadcasters John Broomall has proposed to colleagues on an LPFM ListServe that the commission schedule the window to open as planned on that date. Or, if it’s still closed, to open the window the day after the shutdown ends. “In either case, the window should be extended by as many days as the shutdown lasts,” he states. 

Both Broomall and REC Networks Michi Eyre note that the application process is more complicated than it was in 2001.

Prometheus Radio Project says it too, “will continue to work with our allies in the field to advocate for a fair application window,” according to a statement on its website

Eyre believes the FCC will be flooded with all kinds of applications, not just for LPFM, once the agency reopens, and Media Bureau staff would need to process a backlog, including station renewal applications that were due Oct. 1 as well as some applications for FM translators that remain pending from Auction 83.

Eyre predicts the LPFM window could be moved to November or December, depending on how long the shutdown lasts.