Commissioner Statements

Michael J Copps

This proceeding is a welcome step towards addressing long outstanding questions regarding low-power FM radio service.  These locally-based stations which are licensed to churches, schools, and other community organizations increase localism and diversity in our media.  They are already helping in significant ways to meet the needs of under-represented communities.  They are benefiting local talent by providing more outlets for airplay.  They are providing community coverage in often strikingly-successful ways.  As fewer and fewer conglomerates control the airwaves, there is an even greater need for low power radio.  I look forward to a full record on the questions raised in this Notice and an expeditious resolution of this proceeding.

Jonathan S. Adelstein

I’m pleased to support today’s item, designed to move the ball forward in the further development of low power FM radio.  LPFM provides local communities with new voices, which is so important, especially in today’s era of excessive radio consolidation.  The public should have greater diversity on the radio dial.  The Commission’s action today will provide immediate relief to dozens of stations that need additional time to complete construction or effect ownership changes.  I look forward to addressing the issues raised in the item that are critical to the expansion of this emerging radio service, which is possible to accomplish without causing interference to existing broadcasters.

One of the most significant obstacles to further development of LPFM isn’t addressed by today’s item, however, because the Commission is currently prohibited by statute from fixing it.  LPFM stations are currently required to protect full-power FM stations operating on third-adjacent channels.  The Commission initially concluded that such protection isn’t necessary.  The Mitre Corporation, in its independent and Congressionally-mandated study, reached the same conclusion, and the Commission has therefore recommended that Congress lift the statutory restriction.  I therefore hope that Congress will act soon on Senator McCain’s bill to remove this unnecessary requirement, allowing LPFM to develop more and provide new voices to an even greater segment of the population, without causing harmful interference to existing broadcasters.