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CU: FCC moves to expand low power FM

March 20, 2012

Consumers Union Statement: FCC Moves to Expand Low Power FM

WASHINGTON, DC – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted today to expand access for local community radio, known as low-power FM (LPFM) stations. The Commission’s decision will open the door for thousands of potential new local radio stations by clearing a backlog of pending applications for FM translators, or repeater stations that rebroadcast distant radio stations.
Parul P. Desai, policy counsel for Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, said, “We’re pleased that the FCC is going to resolve the backlog of pending applications and create an opportunity to grow community radio. Low-power FM stations give a voice to local community groups that often aren’t included in traditional programming. They help to engage consumers in the issues that impact them right at home. This vote today takes important steps in promoting the Commission’s goals of localism and diversity.”
LPFM stations are limited to noncommercial use and have a maximum signal strength of 100 watts.

David Butler, 202-462-6262