The LPFM Buyer's Guide
LPFM definitely is broadcast service, but
it does have its own special challenges. One of the main challenges is budgetary, so an LPFM station
needs to be careful and efficient with its budget. The manufacturers,
vendors, and service providers on these pages are attuned to the special
needs of LPFM stations.
What are the areas where we can help
assistance and Contract Engineering - Filing forms, construction,
Gear - Transmitters, Antennas, Monitoring, Riggers, etc
- Studio Gear -
Consoles, Audio Processing, Automation, Clocks, etc.
assistance - navigating the FCC wonderland
Articles of special
interest to LPFM operators
According to FCC numbers, there are now
approximately 1550 licensed LPFM statons. One report says three states
have more than 100 LPFMs now: TX, FL, and CA.
A Pew Research paper is located here.
According to FCC numbers, there are now
approximately 1338 licensed LPFM statons, about 44% coming from the
current round of CPs.
LPFM Station Trains Radio's Next Generation
A High School program
that works gets some help from the industry
- 7/27/15 -
The LPFM-AG (LPFM Advocacy Group) has
226-page Petition for Rulemaking with the FCC to make changes
to the LPFM Rules to "Prevent the extinction" of the low power
stations. The Petition seeks to give LPFMs some protections, increase
power to 250 W, and pave the way toward commercialism.
- 7/9/15 -
The FCC now reports a total of 1,149
LPFM stations on the air. The increase over 2014 is 335 stations.
- 4/21/15 -
Several groups have begin petitioning
the FCC for higher power - and mor protection - for LPFM stations.
One group seeks 250 Watts, another would go to 1 kW.
- 4/9/15 -
The FCC's latest numbers show more than
1000 LPFMs on the air. (As of March 1029 stations had received their
Aurhorizations.) Some questtions remain about protection to LFPMs from
full power and translator stations - and the ultimate need for LPFM's
to have the right to run commercial material, not just underwriting.
- 3/23/15 -
Nautel has an LPFM Web presentation
scheduled for April 1st at 12 Noon EDT.
Sign up here
- The LPFM push is not without a hiccup or two. Now
that many CPs have gone out, operators and volunteers need to observe
FCC regulations as well as smart business operating policies.
Sometimes though, power struggles and in-fighting can destroy the best
of intentions, and as in Charleston WV, kill a budding LPFM operation.
It took only six weeks from going on the air to deletion.
(Thanks Phil Shoenthal)
- 12/23/14 - The process continues.
The FCC identified 96 MX groups where they have a tentative
selction for the LPFM CPs, and set the deadlines for filings and
petitions to deny.
- 9/9/14 - The FCC Media Bureau Chief
Peter Doyle said at the NAB Fall Show that over 1300 LPFM CPs have
been issued, and 79 more are in the current process. According to
Doyle, once those MX situations are cleared this LPFM Window will be
- 8/21/14 - The FCC has now approved a
total of 1,281 LPFM Construction Permits.
- 7/9/14 - After
assigning points to the applications in 79 groups of mutually
exclusive applications, the FCC has identified
tentative selections for each group. In many cases, this means a
shared-time arrangement. This starts a 30-day period for arguments to
dismiss applications or 90 days to make major modifications to remove
- 6/13/14 - A discussion at the FCC's
open meeting on June 12th indicated that while 1220 CPs have been
issued to the 2826 applicants thus far, things are slowing as they
deal with the 1267 MX'd applications in 406 groups. That said, the
Media Bureau says they will issue a Public Notice "soon" with their
tentative selections for the remaining CPs, along with a 90 day window
for applicants to try to sharetime or initiate a major change
application to use another frequency, etc. FCC Chairman Wheeler
praised "the largest expansion of community radio in history."
- 5/6/14 - The FCC has now issued
nearly 1200 CPs for new LPFM stations in the current Window. Some
reports are that most of the "easy" CPs have been issued, and as the
FCC works through the MX applications, the process may well slow down.
- 4/15/14 - The NAB show had a number
of products specially designed for LPFM use. Some are shown on these
pages, and a few from
Review. There was also warning from the FCC that LPFMs need to
remember the terms of their authorization, and comply with
- 3/22/14 - As we get ready for NAB, a
number of companies are showing new products that are designed for
LPFM - some with smaller studios in mind, some with reduced features -
to help save some budget money.
New items for NAB
- 3/6/14 - Another large group of
applications with suspicious information has been uncovered. According
to Kyle Magrill, some three dozen applications appear to be filled out
with non-existent names, addresses that do not exist, notaries that do
not exist or stopped being notaries years ago, and other issues.
Magrill, who researched the background of the suspect applications,
says the FCC is now aware of the matter. Some of them, where CPs have
been issued already, may well be rescinded immediately and returned to
"pending" status, with an investigation to follow.
- 2/26/14 - As the FCC continues to
churn out LPFM CPs,
a letter to
some 14 applicants who filed what appear to be "singleton"
applications involving Antonio Cesar Guel. The letter requests a lot
of information to prove the applications were not misrepresenting
matters and not violating rules. This could have larger ramifications,
since Guel was involved in hundreds of applications, all looking very
similar to some, including REC Networks, Michi Bradley.
- 2/21/14 - Over 1000 LPFM CPs have
now been issued over the past month or so. This may be the largest
bunch of CPs the FCC has ever put together in so short a time. Over
the next month, however, it will slow, depending on how the FCC
handles the MX'd applications.
- 2/7/14 - CPs for LPFM have passed
the 500 mark in January - and 200 this week alone - not yet the 900
promised, but a truly rapid rollout in FCC terms. The
grants are in the FCC Daily Broadcast Actions, but it is in the middle
of a mind-numbing number of pages. It is easier to search for your
area. See 11/20/13 below and filter accordingly.
- 2/5/14 -
Building a New Station - A Checklist - Phil Owens
Some advice on how to make good choices when building a station.
- 1/28/14 -
for a Successful Station - Does your staff really know
what to do?
- 1/24/14 - Section
An LPFM in Greenville, TX was granted a $2k reduction and a
Forfeiture Order for $5k after having been cited for not
having an operating EAS machine in 2012. The Iglesia Cristiana Ebenezer's KYLP-LP
did order and install an EAS, but the violation stands, as does the
warning that a reduction this time does not mean a future reduction
will be permitted.
- 1/22/14 - The power of complaints
against LPFM stations was shown this week. A new LFPM station got to
CP for 14 hours, before a complaint shut him down. Previously a
Part 15 operation, the station in Edgar, NE was told it was
interfering with another station. Efforts to return to the CP
authorized power is ongoing.
- 1/22/14 - Several sources have noted
the FCC LPFM grants contain errors of up to 50m in HAAT calculations,
often leaving stations with very low power - as low as 4 Watts. The
FCC is reportedly aware of this issue and is looking at making
corrections as soon as possible.
- 1/9/14 -
Counting the Cost of Construction - Stan Adams
Careful planning can bring in construction costs at a very
- 1/2/14 -
LPFM Guide to Wire and Cable - Steve Lampen
This is a good look at which wires and cable are needed to build a
professional LPFM station - or a Full Power station.
- 1/16/14 - The FCC lived up to its
promise: the CPs for LPFM have started flowing - as have the notices
of dismissal. They can been seen in the Daily Actions, or, for the
current status of an application, you can
search quickly on the CDBS. Enter Low Power FM under "Service" and
your city and state below. All the local applications will come up,
with their current standing, whether accepted for filing, received,
granted, or dismissed will show up. (If you know your file number or
facility ID number, it will come up more easily.) The FCC usually does
not show reasons for their actions.
- 12/20/13 - With the "singletons"
having been noted, quite a few of you are expecting a CP in the near
future. If you have not planned your equipment purchases - and even if
you have - it is wise to check with
these companies to make sure you (a) get good value, (b) get gear
that will meet FCC requirements, and (c) not fall apart under use.
- 12/16/13 - The
list of MX applications for the LPFM Window was realeased today.
Public Notice is here. For the next 60 days some negotiation
and/or slight amendments to applications can be made before the FCC
makes any decisions.
- 12/3/13 - A
Public Notice was issued today on the LPFM applications, noting
about 900 are "singletons." The FCC expects to issue the first CPs in
January, 2014. A list of mutually exclusive applications should be
released before the end of this month.
- 11/27/13 - Would you like to "see"
the LPFM applications in your area? Cavell, Mertz, has produced a
Google Earth plug-in that plots the LPFM applications by frequency.
Download it here. Then start Google Earth. Gary Cavell says
"the left hand menu bar should show "LPFMs by Channel" - (probably
under an FCCInfo heading) - then expand that button and click on the
channel / frequency of interest. You can zoom and pan in Google Earth
as usual to see where these things are. Click on an applicant's
balloon, and you can get more details - click on the Facility Id link,
and you can drill down and see more." Don't know what
frequencies are sought in your area? Just follow the CDBS link in the
next item and add the state and/or city of interest. You will get a
list of all the LPFMs in your area.
- 11/20/13 - The LPFM Window is
closed, with 2819 applications successfully filed, according to Austin
Airwaves. This number was confirmed at an AFCCE reception
by both Jim Bradshaw & Peter Doyle, but could be adjusted a bit as
things settle. If you would like to see them,
go to the CDBS applications screen, then
under Service "FM Low Power" and
use the dates "10/13/2013" to "11/17/2013"
If you desire, filter by state and/or city.
It will return right about 2820 applications. Approximately two dozen
are duplicates/triplicates; 1/3 are "singletons" and a list of them
may be released by the FCC as early as next week.
- 11/15/13 - Did you see the CDBS
crash coming? The load of LPFM applications yesterday caused so much
crashing of servers that
the FCC extended the LPFM deadline yet again, to this afternoon.
- 10/24/13 - A web seminar scheduled
by the FCC for October 3rd was held on the 24th.Here are some
- 10/21/13 - The FCC has released
another Public Notice - to help applicants understand the issues
translator input signal levels on the third adjacent frequency.
- 10/18/13 - The filing Window for
LPFM applications has been extended until November 14th. The FCC
Public Notice today.
- 10/17/13 - The
FCC has responded to some of the petitions for reconsideration of
parts of the Sixth Report and Order for the LPFM proceeding.