FCC set to take next step on low wattage FM


FCCThe Friday 11/30/12 FCC Open Meeting is nearing its opening kickoff, and it will address one topic and one topic only: short range FM stations, including LPFMs and FM translators.

The Commission moved the kickoff up a half hour. Originally scheduled to being at 10:30 eastern, the festivities will now commence at 10AM.

Congress ordered the FCC to increase the number of community-oriented non-commercial low power FM stations, and in an effort to increase their number in the crowded airwaves of America’s larger markets, is allowing them to be built closer on the dial to incumbent full power FM stations.

Meanwhile, the FCC is supposed to clear out a backlog of thousands of FM translator applications, granting as many as possible and dismissing the rest.

Here’s how the Commission describes the agenda item: “SUMMARY:  The Commission will consider a Fifth Order on Reconsideration and Sixth Report and Order, finalizing procedures to complete the processing of over 6,000 pending FM translator applications and completing implementation of the Local Community Radio Act. These are the final steps toward opening a filing window that will allow non-profit groups nationwide to apply for low power radio licenses, expanding the diversity of truly local voices in the media landscape.”