LPFM supporters rejoiced over the long-sought strengthening of the service.
Pete Tridish, founder of the Prometheus Radio Project, stated that the FCC moved to prioritize local needs in their decisions on a number of issues, including preventing a group from owning more than one LPFM, clarifying the rules surrounding the transfer of licenses and helping groups make important changes to their boards of directors.
A key issue for Prometheus is the status of LPFMs vs. translator and full-power FMs. Tridish said in a statement that the commission “has made progress by outlining plans that can immediately save some (LPFMs) from getting knocked off the air.”
The most important issue facing the commission was the question of how to set the priority between “translator” stations — which repeat the signals of full-power stations and extend the full-power station’s coverage — and new LPFM applicants, stated Tridish, who applauded the agency decision to cap translator applications from the 2003 application filing window.
The commission invited comments on this particular question. “We believe that a creative solution can be found that will allow the reasonable use of translators, while preserving significant opportunity for community radio stations to be born.”
He also commended the agency for moving towards what he called “better engineering methods” for finding channels for low-power radio stations.