FCC Commissioners unanimously support expanding Low Power FM

Prometheus Radio Project:

In the first Congressional oversight hearing since the three new FCC Commissioners took office, all five Commissioners endorsed the Local Community Radio Act HR 1147/ S592, unanimously reaffirming the FCC s continued support for the bipartisan bill which would expand low-power FM radio across the country.

FCC Chairman Genachowski and Commissioners Baker and Clyburn expressed support for the Local Community Radio Act in a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet. Introduced by Rep. Mike Doyle (PA-14) and Rep. Lee Terry (NE-2) in February, the bill would repeal a 2003 law that restricts Low Power FM radio (LPFM) radio to rural areas.

We are very pleased that the Commission has again voiced their support for this important bill, which would allow community radio to expand into thousands of towns, cities and neighborhoods throughout the US, stated Cory Fischer-Hoffman, Campaign Director at the Prometheus Radio Project.

This is the third time that the Commission has unanimously requested that Congress return authority to the FCC to manage third adjacent channel restrictions on Low Power FM radio (LPFM). These restrictions, imposed by Congress in 2000 in response to concerns that LPFMs could cause interference to full power stations limited low power radio to rural areas. Since a 2003 congressionally-mandated engineering study showed that LPFMs do not harm full power stations, the FCC has told Congress they are ready to move forward with community radio. The bill now awaits a mark-up in the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Technology and the Internet.

LPFM stations are licensed to government, churches, emergency responders, and other noncommercial organizations. They have a three-to-five mile range and a maximum 100 watts of power. Today, over 800 local organizations operate LPFM stations around the country.

article originally published at Prometheus Radio Project.

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