NAB States Its Case Against Power Increase For LPFMs
June 16, 2015 at 10:01 AM (PT)
The NAB has weighed in on the proposal before the FCC to allow some low power FM stations to increase power from 100 to 250 watts, filing comments with the Commission calling the proposal, in a petition by REC NETWORKS, "premature" and conflicting with the mandate under the Local Community Radio Act of 2010 that space remain available for FM translators.
"The overwhelming majority of the approximately 2,000 LPFM stations to be licensed from the 2013 LPFM filing window have not even been constructed yet, let alone commenced operation at their current maximum power of 100 watts," the NAB contends, adding "(I)t is too early to assess the interference impact of this new wave of 100-watt LPFM stations on neighboring FM stations. NAB submits that, at a minimum, the Commission should wait until it can sufficiently review the performance of these new LPFM stations at 100 watts before considering a request to increase their maximum power to 250 watts ... It is imprudent, if not impossible, for the Commission to adequately assess the impact of upgrading LPFM's to 250 watts before the effects of all of the new LPFM filers is understood."
"AM broadcasters have waited patiently for their first opportunity to participate in an FM translator window," the comments continue, "but are concerned that allowing LPFM stations to increase power to 250 watts, and thereby double their coverage areas, will further overcrowd the already congested FM band and foreclose licensing opportunities for cross-service translators. The Commission carefully implemented the LCRA to preserve opportunities for future LPFM licensees, including the dismissal of thousands of long-pending applications of FM broadcasters for translators, thus paving the way for the 2013 LPFM filing window. AM broadcasters deserve equal consideration."