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LPFM vs. Translators?

LPFM vs. Translators?

The FCC gave LPFM supporters a gift as former Chairman Michael Powell left the building: a freeze on accepting new FM translator applications.
The agency is trying to decide whether new LPFMs should be licensed as a primary service and potentially gain priority over existing and future FM translators in terms of licensing and interference concerns. Public comments are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
LPFMs are licensed as a secondary service, as are translators. The commission is still sorting through thousands of translator applications resulting from the last filing window, when it was deluged with requests. LPFMs and FM translators vie for the same spectrum; right now, the translators have priority because those applications have been filed while there is no new application filing window scheduled for LPFMs.
The commission is seeking comment on ownership and technical changes to the LPFM rules. It’s also asking whether LPFMs should be allowed to stay on the air where interference is predicted to occur within the 70 dBu contour of second- or third-adjacent channel full-service FMs authorized in the future.
The six-month freeze on grants of FM translator CP applications is intended to give the commission time to sort out the LPFM-related questions.
The commission made some immediate changes to the LPFM service last week. The agency expanded its definition of a “minor change” to 5.6 kilometers for LP100 licensees for LPFM stations that want to move their transmitter sites and gave the Media Bureau the ability to waive the LPFM construction period rule so that LPFM permittees can have an extra 18 months to complete station construction.