Movement on the Hill of two bills to drop third-adjacent channel protections for full-service FMs in order to create space for more low-power FMs on the dial is expected soon.
That’s according to NPR. In an update on LPFM for attendees at the Public Radio Engineering Conference, NPR’s Mike Starling said NPR Labs and Promethus Radio Project have been in discussions over interference protections as well as protection for translator services.
The compromise would reportedly limit the number of translators an entity could own that could be protected against encroachment from new LPs promising to originate at least eight hours of daily local programming.
NPR said that, due to receiver vulnerabilities, it is also important to continue the prohibition against new third-adjacent LPs to stations carrying radio reading services. NPR felt it was better to negotiate safeguards to make sure protections are in place for public radio stations.
However, NPR also believes the majority of new LPFMs would most likely be allocated in the non-reserved band. Therefore, the network is talking to Prometheus about how to protect both LPFMs and full-service pubcaster FMs and their translators from harmful interference. Part of what’s been discussed is that, within 12 months of construction, the LPFM would need to collect and report interference complaints.
We’ve reported the bills are S.1675 and H.R.2802.