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Wheeler Cites LPFM Progress

Agency will have update in June

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says the commission must look back, into history, in order to move forward.

“On May 24, 1844, Samuel Morse famously telegraphed, ‘What hath God wrought!’ from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, the first official telegraphic message sent over of a long distance. Coincidentally, 18 years later to the day, Abraham Lincoln would send nine telegraph messages to Union generals, becoming the first President to regularly use electronic communications,” writes Wheeler on his blog.

Eighty years ago, Congress passed a law largely in reaction to the network revolution Morse unleashed, according to Wheeler. That law was the Communications Act of 1934, which established the FCC. Today, the agency is “firmly focused on the future,” and will continue to update its rules and operations, according to the chairman.

One example is low-power FM, with Wheeler calling the expansion of such stations a “Media Bureau” success story. Since the October window for filing applications for new LPFMs, the agency has been busy processing the paperwork.

At its June 13 monthly open meeting, the commission plans an update “on the continuing efforts to launch new and diverse voices to the American public via increased access” to LPFMs.