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Puget Sound Nonprofits Plan for 15 LPFMs

Plan public event at Pike Place Market

Despite the partial government shutdown rendering the FCC dark, a group helping 15 Puget Sound area nonprofits and universities apply for a low-power FM license says the entities are ready to share their plans.

The 15 groups plan an event tomorrow at Seattle’s Pike Place Market where they can share their community service plans and a map of the neighborhoods their stations would reach if they get a license.

The FCC’s window to accept applications for an LPFM was to have opened tomorrow, Oct. 15. The government shutdown, including the inaccessibility of its online databases, has meant that those groups applying for an LPFM have been hindered from completing their paperwork in the meantime.

The Puget Sound radio applicants say they have a variety of new programming planned, from hyperlocal news for Ballard, Rainier Valley and the Central District areas, to immigrant rights advocacy in the Seattle-Tacoma region, educational facilities for Bothell and Seattle, and recording and collecting oral histories in the University District and at Sand Point, according to Brown Paper Tickets, the group organizing the event. Their engineers who have worked with the FCC predict that between five and eight frequencies could be licensed to Seattle and several more outside of King County, where there is less competition for on-air frequencies.

Seattle-based Brown Paper Tickets is helping these nonprofits in their application, and has aided other eligible groups learn about the opportunity to license an LPFM, as part of its National Make Radio Challenge.