LPFM Group- Wants More Power

Posted on June 1st, 2015 by

REC Networks has filed a request with the FCC proposing to increase the maximum power for LPFM stations from 100 to 250 watts.  In addition, they are seeking a bit more freedom to make minor changes to their facilities, urging the FCC to classify certain new license modifications as minor.  According to its filing, REC Networks would also like to eliminate the current requirement that co-owned translators rebroadcasting an LPFM station have service contour overlap with the primary LPFM station.  Another change sought is elimination of LPFM stations having to protect FM translators on second adjacent channels.

The FCC has not turned the REC Networks filing into a rulemaking yet.  Instead, it has only issued a notice announcing the REC Networks filing.  But that alone may be telling, as the FCC sometimes takes this approach as a trial balloon.

If the FCC acts on REC Networks’ request, it may not be a good sign for AM stations, who were seeking a special window to allow them to apply for FM translators.  The Chairman recently signaled that he had some issue with such a window, and the FCC has not issued an order in its now nearly 2-year old AM revitalization proceeding.  This is a classic illustration of how bureaucracy and partisanship hurt licensees.