MANHASSET, N.Y. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is starting its second round of low-power FM (LPFM) applications, starting on August 28 and finishing on September 1, despite the fact that petitions for reconsideration of the LPFM Report and Order are pending.
The FCC established the new LPFM service January 20, 2000 to create new broadcasting opportunities for locally based organizations to serve their communities. Each station will serve an area with a radius of approximately 3.5 miles, with a maximum power level of 100 watts.
Eligible states this time around are Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia, Wyoming and Puerto Rico. The first filing window was May 30 to June 8, 2000.
Though it is accepting filings, the FCC warns applicants that petitions for reconsideration of the LPFM Report and Order are pending. These petitions raise certain eligibility and interference issues and question the impact of LPFM stations on audio information services, commonly known as radio reading services, for blind and low-vision listeners. The resolution of these issues may affect the availability of certain frequencies at specific locations for LPFM stations. The FCC will address these issues before granting construction permits in the LPFM service.
Applicants should also note that audio information services are generally provided on the subcarriers of stations licensed in the reserved portion of the FM broadcast band (88.1 MHz - 91.9 MHz). The window will be for new LPFM station applications that specify LP100 stations that would operate with 50-100 watts effective radiated power.
Each applicant must be a nonprofit educational organization, a nonprofit educational institution or must propose a noncommercial public safety radio service.
According to the FCC, anyone wishing to participate in this LPFM window must complete and file downloadable FCC Form 318, Application for Construction Permit for a Low Power FM Broadcast Station, in triplicate with the Secretary of the Commission. The form can be also obtained by calling (202) 418-FORM. No fee is required. The next application window will be in three months.