The FCC has awarded Maine Public seven new noncommercial educational FM station licenses. According to the broadcasting network, these signals will be used to expand the reach of both Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Classical into areas of the state that currently have limited or no access to said services.
Formed in 1992, Maine Public is an independently-owned, nonprofit organization with office and studio locations in Bangor, Lewiston and Portland, Maine. New station construction permits were approved for Bethel, Calais, Fort Kent, two in Greenville, Mars Hill and Millinocket.
Following the announcement, Jeff Mahaney, Maine Public’s chief technology officer, said, “When we applied, we had two goals concerning our radio network. One, expand Maine Public Radio to unserved areas, and two, grow our existing classical network. There’s work to be done on the fundraising side to build out these signals, but we are closer than ever to making Maine Public’s radio signals accessible to everyone in Maine.”
The November 2021 filing window was the first time in more than 10 years that the FCC accepted applications for new NCE FM station licenses, Maine Public noted in its press release June 27. Due to the congested airwaves in urban areas, most available channels were available in rural areas across the United States.
“As a stipulation for each new station construction permit, each new signal must be operational within three years of the award,” read the release. “The needs of each site vary greatly, and they all will require a significant investment to become operational.”