LPFM legislation sails through committee


The Local Community Radio Act of 2009 is on its way to the full House of Representatives after sailing through the Energy and Commerce Committee with no one voicing any objection. The bill would allow for creation of hundreds of new low-power FM stations by eliminating third adjacent channel protection for existing full-power stations.

What little opposition there was to the LPFM legislation, HR 1147, fell on deaf ears in the House Communications Subcommittee earlier this month. Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) briefly repeated his concerns about interference, but otherwise there was nothing but praise for the measure to repeal the legislation which required the FCC to protect full-power broadcasters from interference from LPFM stations being placed on third-adjacent channels.

Member after member hailed the LPFMs already on the air for the localism and service to their communities in times of emergency. They clearly want the FCC to get more of them on the air as soon as possible.

“Even though it’s low power, it’s highly empowering to these community groups,” declared Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), one of the principal sponsors of the bill.

“I am really delighted to see this bill make it through a key milestone on its way to becoming law,” said Cheryl A. Leanza, Policy Advisor to the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB). “Our legislative champions, Congressman Mike Doyle [D-PA] and Lee Terry have been indefatigable in their support for this important media justice issue. The support of Congressman Boucher and his staff in giving this issue his time and attention in a Congress with such a crowded schedule has been critical to assist the thousands of community groups waiting for low power radio stations around the country,” she said as the pro-LPFM group applauded the legislative milestone.

RBR-TVBR observation: This train has built up a full head of steam and appears to be unstoppable.