FCC is Allowing Comments on LPFM Technical Rules Rulemaking

Submitted by Todd Urick on Mon, 09/30/2019 - 20:21


FCC is accepting public comment on MB Docket 19-193, which is a rule making on improving the technical rules for Low Power FM radio.  The rulemaking was originally a response to proposals by LPFM advocate Rec Networks' RM-11749 and RM-11810 requesting the Commission to consider an upgrade in LPFM broadcast power to 250 watts ERP.  The Republican-controlled FCC dismissed the request an offered some minor tweaks to the FCC LPFM rules including:

  • LPFM services should be able to utilize directional antennas:  This is mainly important in US-border areas.
  • Channel 6 protections should be lifted for LPFM:  The FCC is considering lifting protection of all lower-FM band (88.1-91.9FM) protection to the television bandwidth allotted right below 88.1 FM.
  • A more liberated way of moving LPFM antenna locations.
  • Codification of 50 watt FM boosters for LPFM usage (although currently allowed in 20 watt form)

Because the FCC poorly substantiated their reasoning for not pursuing "LP-250", it is advocated that LPFM with interference or poor reception problems document their grievances in support of the FCC re-assessing the need for a 250 watt LPFM service.

Comments may be filed on or before October 21, 2019 and reply comments may be filed on or before November 4, 2019.  The rulemaking is here.  You may comment here at FCC ECFS either by attaching a PDF or typing out a comment (enter "19-193" and "17-105" under "Proceeding" within the ECFS form).