August 15, 2013
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