At the moment, low-power, normally-licensed FM WPEB is serving Pennsylvania’s largest city. Local activists say they would like to have more low power outlets, and are eagerly waiting for the US Congress to pass the Local Community Radio Act.
According to Technically Philly, a local publication focusing on technical issues, the station is doing just what it is supposed to do – giving voice to members of the local community who would generally not find room on more traditionally formatted stations, allowing them to focus on topics of interest to residents within the station’s limited range.
LPFMs are designed to serve a radius of 3.5 miles or less. According to the FCC database, WPEB sure looks like an LPFM — it makes do with a single watt of power, transmitted from an antenna that is 69 feet above average terrain.
Other similar operations do exist in the city, but they are internet only. The operator of one such station told Technically Philly that his organization would be interested in taking a look at the possibility of going the LPFM route is LCRA passes and frequencies are made available in the Philadelphia market.
The internet-only outlet is G-Town Radio, founded by Jim Bear. He suggested that an LPFM outlet would make it easier to reach his target audience, but would add expense.