During the month of October, the FCC will be opening up a filing window to pump new life into the LPFM service per the Local Community Radio Act – and new FM translator CPs are also expected to be granted. At the moment, translators outnumber LPFMs by the thousands.
Most of the action this year should be in the translator and LPFM categories – they currently stand at 6,044 and 797 licensed facilities respectively.
The main goal of LPFM activists has been to introduce the service to large markets where the crowded FM dial has thus far rendered that an impossible task. Meanwhile, thousands of FM translator applications have been on hold while the LPFM question wound its way through Congress and the FCC.
The FCC has already gone a begun untangling the translator apps, and as we noted, the LPFM application process begins in earnest in October.
There are also 1,969 low power television stations that face an uncertain future as the FCC sets up its channel repacking and incentive auction plans – in fact, the only thing LPTV licensees can be certain of is that they cannot be certain of anything.
Here are the FCC’s latest station totals for all services.
AM STATIONS: 4,734
FM COMMERCIAL: 6,606
FM EDUCATIONAL: 3,957
UHF COMMERCIAL TV: 1,028
VHF COMMERCIAL TV: 358
UHF EDUCATIONAL TV: 289
VHF EDUCATIONAL TV: 107
CLASS A UHF STATIONS: 380
CLASS A VHF STATIONS: 53
FM TRANSLATORS & BOOSTERS: 6,044
UHF TRANSLATORS: 2,930
VHF TRANSLATORS: 1,146
UHF LOW POWER TV: 1,569
VHF LOW POWER TV: 400
LOW POWER FM: 797
TOTAL BROADCAST STATIONS: 30,398