House Holds LPFM Bill Hearing Today
June 11, 2009 at 2:06 PM (PT)
The House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet will hold a hearing TODAY (6/11) on the "Local Community Radio Act" (HR 1147), the bill that would eliminate the third-channel interference protection for full-power stations from low-power FMs, thus allowing more LPFMs to be dropped in.
Reps. MIKE DOYLE (D-PA) and LEE TERRY (R-NE) are the sponsors of the legislation, with 54 co-sponsors.
The hearing comes in the wake of a JUNE 5th U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruling affirming the 2007 FCC decision to protect LPFM stations against interference by subsequently licensed or modified full power stations.
NAB Calls For Status Quo
NAB Radio Board First Vice Chair and BEASLEY BROADCASTING EVP/CFO CAROLINE BEASLEY told the committee that "full power FM stations and low power FM stations can co-exist. There is a role for each to play within their communities. And there is a process in place to continue licensing LPFM at the FCC. That being said, it is also important to maintain interference guidelines that protect listeners to both services.... Interference is a real concern for local broadcasters and buffer protections are necessary and make sense. Any policy discussion to remove third adjacent channel protection should carefully balance interference risk to both full power and low power FM services. Even with third adjacent protections in place, there are examples of harmful interference caused by LPFM stations that are not adhering to existing technical regulations. Enforcement remains an issue and increasing the chance of interference through a policy change affects all listeners and may increase the likelihood of a lost listener at a time of need or emergency."