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More LPFMs May Be Allowed

More LPFMs May Be Allowed

There’s a chance Low-Power FMs may be allowed on 3rd adjacent channels after all. The FCC has made this recommendation in a report to Congress. After reviewing a report of such testing conducted by Mitre Corp., the commission stated, “reduction or elimination of existing third-adjacent channel LPFM minimum distance separation requirements is possible without increasing the potential for third-adjacent channel LPFM interference to existing stations.”
Congress told the FCC to do the tests when lawmakers decided the commission should retain the 3rd adjacent channel protections when LPFM was authorized.
Now, at least one lawmaker is seeking to allow more low powered stations on the air. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain says he’ll introduce legislation to back up the report with action.
“Four years ago, broadcasters masqueraded their concern about competition from new low power FM stations in grossly exaggerated claims of interference. The FCC has (now) stripped the broadcasters of this disguise by concluding that these stations would cause virtually no interference, and recommending the removal of certain limits on such stations.”
The commission is also asking Congress if it can skip what were supposed to be the last portions of the testing: listener tests and an economic analysis of the effects of LPFMs on existing FMs in a market due to lack of funds. The agency estimates the additional testing would cost around $800,000.