FAQ: I have heard that there will be a power increase for LPFMs in about two years. How can I apply for one?
There is not yet any provisions to give LPFM stations more than 100 watts at 30 meters height above average terrain (5.6 km service contour). REC has filed a Petition for Rulemaking to allow for LPFM stations that meet specific technical guidelines to be able to upgrade to 250 watts. Two versions of the upgraded service proposal were assigned RM numbers. The first proposal, RM-11749 was a simple upgrade to 250 watts where the second REC proposal, RM-11810 was a more technically advanced version to offer more flexibility. As of February, 2019, there has been some slight movement and we hope that in the next year or so, we may have further movement.
The FCC has tentatively rejected REC's petition in RM-11810 to allow for LP-250 citing no real changes in the record since the Sixth Report and Order in 2013. REC will be fighting this on the basis that LPFM stations have been experiencing building penetration issues as outlined in REC's previous petition, RM-11749, which is not referenced in the draft of 19-193. Since REC envisions the LP-250 service to be used as upgrades, we will raise this issue with the FCC for a potential Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, thus allowing the LPFM window to move forward with 100 watt stations and then eventually advocating for upgrades at a later date after the number of LP-100 stations are known and it can be determined how many stations can upgrade.