LPFMRadio.com - Low Power FM
LPFMRadio.com exists to answer questions regarding the FCC's
Low Power FM Broadcasting Service (LPFM). Thousands of people,
organizations and public service groups now have an opportunity to apply for,
obtain and operate their own low power fm radio stations, serving
local communities all across the country.
Since the idea behind the new service is that new
broadcasters obtain LPFM radio licenses and new community-based voices
populate the airwaves, there will be many who know little (if
anything) about broadcasting in general, and LPFM radio in particular. As a
result of this, our mission
is to make available as much good information as possible, so that you can
make an informed decision as to whether to apply for one of these new
licenses. Then, if you get one, we will help you in determining how to go about getting it
constructed and how to
operate it properly and within the FCC rules and regulations.
A Brief Overview
The service is non-commercial in nature.
There are two classes of LPFM radio stations: LP 100 (100 watts, 100 feet HAAT)
and LP 10 (10 watts, 100 feet HAAT).
3rd adjacent channel protection will soon no longer
Co-channel, 1st and 2nd adjacent channel protections
Eligible licensees can be non-commercial government or private
educational organizations, associations or entities; non-profit entities with educational
purposes; or government or non-profit entities providing local public safety or
LPFM Radio stations will be required to broadcast a minimum of 36 hours per
week and participate in the EAS (Emergency Alert System) system.
The license term is eight years, and cannot be sold
or transferred to another
As an applicant, you will have to certify that your organization
does indeed operate in the city in which you wish to broadcast. You will
also be required to certify that a majority of
your board (or other persons) live within ten miles of the proposed LPFM
Now that the
FCC Rules are available, it's imperative that you
take a long look at what the FCC is asking from potential LPFM applicants. If you have
specific questions, please contact your legal council or other professional
A Word of Warning! Until you have a construction
permit, you do not have the right to purchase equipment and start broadcasting. When you
have your construction permit and have built your facility according to your
FCC issued LPFM radio construction permit, then, and only
then can you go on the air. Under no circumstances should you even think about broadcasting until
your construction permit is granted.
Unlicensed operation is against the law, and
can haunt you for a long, long time.
Do I Really Require The services of An Engineer In
Preparing My LPFM Application?
Many prospective clients have asked us why they would require the
services of a professional
technical consultant in filing an application with the FCC when there are so
many "free online help centers". The
answer to this question is simple to understand for anyone who is familiar with
the filing process. But, the answer can be quite confusing to those who have
never dealt with preparing and submitting an FCC application before:
The FCC imposes very strict technical requirements on applicants and imposes
very strict requirements as to who is eligible to apply. Because of these
requirements, if your application is not in strict compliance with FCC rules
and "letter perfect," with all of the required documentation and technical
exhibits complete, it will be dismissed without a chance to file again!
If your exact location does not have any frequencies
available, an engineer may be able to work with you to find a means of
making your location work in some other way or may be able to help you find
another nearby location that will work.
If you have a choice between several potential frequencies,
an engineer could tell you which one would be best -- while it is physically
impossible under these rules for LPFMs to cause significant interference,
some of the new channels allocated may receive quite a bit of
The key reason that you may want an engineer, even if you are
able to find a frequency for yourself, is that the FCC engineering database
is usually very inaccurate. This means that there are many
stations listed there that are not operating, and some are listed that have
been approved but have not yet made it into the system.
An engineer can check the FCC channel finder results against
their (very expensive and very up-to-date)
software. An engineer pays a lot of money to keep very
accurate records of station allocations, and that is why the engineer must,
in turn, pass a portion of that cost on to you in the form of fees.
If you apply for a frequency, as based on the FCC database,
and that frequency turns out to be occupied because the FCC Channel Finder
was not up-to date, it's tough luck for you. On the other
hand, it is entirely possible that you may pay several hundred dollars just
to confirm what you already knew from the FCC.
An engineer can also help in resolving conflicting
applications by finding other alternatives. There are many strategies for
"shoehorning" a station allocation that are not permitted under LPFM, but a
consulting engineer could (for a fee, perhaps a considerable fee, depending
upon the complexities of the situation) make a very strong argument for an
exemption. An engineers report would need to be attached to your form when
you turn it in.
An engineer can also check on the status of applications,
construction permits and stations that show up in the FCC database as
blocking your application. Then, with a little investigation, he may be able
to help you broker a deal with those "blockers". For example, there may be
an approved construction permit that was never built, and will not ever be
built. An engineer should be able to have it removed from the FCC database
so that your application will be accepted.
In the end, only YOU can make the decision:
Do you just want to "play around" and hope that what you think will work out is
acceptable? Or, would you rather take every possible step at insuring that your
application information is as accurate as possible in order to maximize your
chances at getting that FCC broadcast license granted so that you can own your
own LPFM radio station?
LPFMRadio.com exists to provide affordable, reliable and technically accurate
broadcast technical & consulting services. You'll find our fees to be among the
most competitive in the industry.
Comments? Let us know what you think. Send your thoughts to