From October 15 thru October 29, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) will open a filing window during which it will accept applications for new Low Power FM (“LPFM”) broadcast radio stations and major change amendments to existing LPFM authorizations. The last filing window for this service closed in 2001, so this window represents a rare opportunity for eligible entities to get involved in community broadcasting.
LPFM stations are authorized for noncommercial educational broadcasting only (no commercial operation) and operate with an effective radiated power of 100 watts or less, with maximum antenna height above average terrain of 30 meters (100 feet). The approximate service range of a 100 watt LPFM station is 5.6 kilometers (3.5 miles radius).
As opposed to most other broadcast services there is no application fee required, making barrier to entry minimal. Each applicant must be a nonprofit educational organization, or a Tribe or Tribally-controlled organization, or a state or local government or a non-government entity that will provide a noncommercial public safety radio service to protect the safety of life, health, or property. Applicants also must be “local” as that term is defined in the Commission’s Rules.
To learn more about this opportunity or to see if there are any channels potentially available in your area, call or email Michael Higgs for more assistance.
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