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LPFMRadio.com - Low Power FM Radio

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 of LPFM

  1. The service is non-commercial in nature.

  2. There are two classes of LPFM radio stations: LP 100 (100 watts, 100 feet HAAT) and LP 10 (10 watts, 100 feet HAAT).

  3. 3rd adjacent channel protection will soon no longer be required.

  4. Co-channel, 1st and 2nd adjacent channel protections are required.

  5. 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 transportation services.

  6. LPFM Radio stations will be required to broadcast a minimum of 36 hours per week and participate in the EAS (Emergency Alert System) system.

  7. The license term is eight years, and cannot be sold or transferred to another party.

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 radio station.

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 representative.

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:

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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 interference.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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?


Reasonable Rates

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.


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