FCC will allow low-power FMs in urban markets, accept applications in October 2013

By Mike Janssen

The FCC adopted new rules today regarding low-power FM stations, paving the way to accept a wave of applications for new LPFMs in October 2013.

Under the rules, the FCC will allow LPFMs on second-adjacent frequencies to full-power FM stations if the low-power applicant provides evidence that the new station will not cause interference. These second-adjacency waivers will allow for more low-power stations in big cities where the FM band is more crowded.

Other provisions of the Report and Order adopted today include:

  • A modified point system that will give an edge to Native applicants and to LPFMs with a staffed main studio and local programming;
  • Permission of cross-ownership of an LPFM station and up to two translator stations;
  • And an allowance for tribal nations to operate more than one LPFM.

The Prometheus Radio Project, which advocates for low-power radio, estimates that the number of LPFMs in America could double or triple after the next filing window.

Read Prometheus’s release and the FCC’s full release. Video of today’s FCC meeting is also available.

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