FCC Evades Congressional Mandate to Maintain FM Channels for Community Low Power Radio

Submitted by Todd Urick on Wed, 06/24/2020 - 17:13


Low Power FM (or “LPFM”) is a 100-watt non-commercial FM radio broadcast service developed for non-profits, churches, educational institutions, and public safety entities to take back the airwaves with meaningful locally-created programming.  If you have never heard of it, it is because the roll-out has been stunted.by poor rules guiding where the stations can be located, lobbying from the commercial radio industry, and resistance from the Federal Communications Commission during conservative administrations.  LPFM is currently in need of public support and legal action due to new circumstances that have curtailed its availability.

Read through below to learn more and hear about how you can help preserve the airwaves for the people.




FCC Weighs the Future of FM6 Stations “Franken FMs” defend their existence

Common Frequency Inc., a non-profit that promotes community and college radio, wrote: “The commission writes, ‘Historically, some analog LPTV stations licensed on Channel 6 have operated with very limited visual programming and an audio signal that is programmed like a radio station.’ This is a polite way of stating that these LPTV facilities have ignored Section 73.682 of the commission’s rules and have been broadcasting at 300% of the allowable audio modulation to market itself as a radio station at 87.7 MHz on the FM dial instead of a television station. 

Common Frequency Files Comments on Proposed Modification of Radio Program Duplication Rule

Submitted by Todd Urick on Sat, 02/15/2020 - 17:23

The FCC completed accepting comments for Docket MB Docket No. 19-310 concerning duplication of radio programming.  Under the FCC's Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative, the current administration is leaving no stoned unturned to dispose of pesky regulations that the industry would rather not have.

Memorandum Opinion and Order Opens Weakness in LPFM Rules

Submitted by Todd Urick on Sun, 02/09/2020 - 14:21

Last year, Las Vegas nonprofit Chinese Voice of Golden City, licensee of KQLS-LP Las Vegas, found that the coordinates of its already-built and operating Low Power FM station were a little off from their licensed location.  Within self-review of their facilities, they found that the antenna coordinates were 256 feet off from their licensed coordinates.  With candor, they filed with the FCC to correct the mistake via modification of license form.  Additionally, with due diligence, they filed for an

AM/FM Act Would Change Royalties for NCE Radio Stations

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, the AM/FM (Ask Musicians For Music, HR 5219) act was introduced in U.S. Congress. 

It’s the latest version of a bill dealing with the creation of a performance royalty for AM/FM radio. 

At present, terrestrial-broadcast radio doesn’t pay musicians or the audio-recording owners in the United States — although songwriters and publishers do get paid via licensing agencies such as ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.

FCC Finally Discussing Fate of "Franken FMs"

Submitted by Todd Urick on Wed, 12/04/2019 - 16:23

The term "Franken FM" was adopted sometime in the last decade to describe the anomalous analog Low Power Television stations licensed on analog Channel 6 frequencies (82-88 MHz).  Because the aural carrier for NTSC analog televisions stations is located at 87.76 MHz, select Channel 6 stations in certain markets persist, purposefully opting not to transition to digital to specifically take advantage of using 87.7 FM as an FM radio station (rather than positioned as a television station).  In the "old days", if you had a Channel 6 station local to you, you probably noticed if you tuned to the

Common Frequency Advocates Transparency in FCC's "Public Notice" Rulemaking

Submitted by Todd Urick on Tue, 12/03/2019 - 19:08

FCC rules Section 73.3580 require broadcasters to give local "public notice" in newspapers when filing specific types of applications with the Commission.  This is enforced by Section 311(a) of the Communications Art.  Within the last three years the Commission has been in a deregulatory spree, engrossed with parsing every nook and cranny of regulation to find ways to modernize or reduce rules for broadcasters.  The FCC recently opened a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for MB Docket No. 17-264 with the intention of updating broadcaster local public notice rules.    

FCC Releases Draft Order on Rulemaking for Optimizing the Permitting Procedures for NCE and LPFM Stations

Submitted by Todd Urick on Fri, 11/22/2019 - 18:12

The FCC just recently released a draft of the Report of Order for MB Docket No. 19-3, a rulemaking concerning modifications to the rules that dictate the procedures for conflicting applications for new non-commercial educational (NCE) FM and low power FM stations, sharetimes, and other odds and ends.  Highlights to changes to the rules are as followed: