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New FM Signal Coming to Philadelphia

FCC gives low-power construction permit to Philadelphia Public Access Corp.

A new FM radio signal is about to go on the air in downtown Philadelphia, at 106.5 on the FM dial, and more than a half million people live within its projected signal.

The Federal Communications Commission has granted a construction permit to Philadelphia Public Access Corp., called PhillyCAM, for the station. This is part of the ongoing recent expansion of the LPFM service nationally, which is dramatically expanding the number of such low-power signals in various communities.

PhillyCAM describes itself as an educational organization “founded to bring together the people of Philadelphia to make and share media that promotes creative expression, democratic values and civic participation.” It is a nonprofit organization that is designated by the city to facilitate operations of its public access channels, and its members produce a number of TV programs.

“Growing our organization to include a new low-power FM radio station in Philadelphia is a natural extension of this work,” it said in its application. “Programming to be aired on PhillyCAM’s low-power FM station will reflect the diverse social, political, ethnic and artistic communities that can be found in Philadelphia.”

PhillyCAM had been part of a six-way tie among applicants for this opportunity under the commission’s point system; five other applicants were dismissed in a batch in December by applicants’ requests, in what appears to be a negotiated outcome.

The FCC at first rejected this application too, saying PhillyCAM hadn’t provided enough information to qualify for a waiver regarding possible interference to stations WISX(FM), Philadelphia and WLTW(FM), Camden, N.J., formerly WWIQ. Those are on second-adjacent FM frequencies. PhillyCAM then revised its planned transmitter location in a petition for reconsideration. The new antenna site is atop a six-story office building at 444 North 3rd Street. According to an engineering exhibit filed with the FCC by consulting engineer Donald E. Mussell Jr., the signal footprint will cover an estimated 561,000 persons at the planned 90 watts of power.

See the projected station signal map on the site of REC Networks.