LPFM battle in DC court


The NAB says that the FCC is illegally impairing the ability of full power FM stations to move and upgrade by failing to take affected LPFMs out of the way; the Prometheus Radio Project says FCC waivers were appropriate and that the standards for what constitutes interference needs to change. Low powers in general, considered a secondary service, have traditionally been at risk from technical changes at full-power facilities, but Prometheus says chasing LPFMs off their channel was a relatively rare occurrence until 2006 when the FCC streamlined the upgrade process for full-powers. Prometheus says NAB has tried to prevent dislocated LPFMs from finding new homes on the dial, and thinks that techniques available under waiver to full-powers should be available to low-powers as well. Prometheus’ Pete Tridish is hopeful that legislators on Capitol Hill will send the Local Community Radio Act to the White House for a presidential signature.

RBR/TVBR observation: LCRA would give displaced LPFMs more places to land by definition, since it would allow them to perch on 3rd adjacencies, as recommended by the Mitre Report, the results of which have been disputed by NAB. We would hazard the guess that this can of worms is not yet close to being untangled. Stay tuned.