Court Rejects NAB Challenge To LPFM Interference Waivers
June 8, 2009 at 5:17 AM (PT)
The U.S. Court of Appeals on FRIDAY rejected part of an appeal by the NAB to prevent the FCC's grant of Special Temporary Authorization waivers of second-adjacent channel interference protection rules for low power FMs, thus protecting them from additional interference from subsequently authorized full-power stations. The court ruled that the RADIO BROADCASTING PRESERVATION ACT of 2000 applies only to third-adjacent channel separation rules and termed the NAB's arguments, which claimed that it doesn't make sense for the law to bar waivers for third-adjacent channel interference but not for second-adjacent channel interference "either unripe of unpersuasive."
Acting FCC Chairman MICHAEL COPPS responded, "I applaud today’s decision upholding the Commission’s authority to waive second-adjacent channel spacing requirements to protect LPFM stations facing encroachment by full-power stations. The listening public and our diversity goals are immediate beneficiaries of this decision which will permit approximately 40 LPFM stations to remain on the air and serving their communities.
"We must continue to look for ways to promote and expand this most local radio service which holds such great promise in expanding radio ownership to under-represented stakeholders and in meeting the needs of under-served communities. In this regard, I look forward to working with my fellow Commissioners in finishing work on the pending LPFM Second Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making. I also respectfully renew my recommendation to Congress that it eliminate existing statutory LPFM third-adjacent channel spacing requirements."
MEDIA ACCESS PROJECT VP PARUL P. DESAI said, "MAP strongly applauds the Court of Appeals for upholding the Commission’s public interest authority to protect and promote low-power FM. The decision is a critical win for the future of LPFM and the preservation of local, diverse viewpoints in communities throughout the nation."