First LPFM MX Settlement Window Now Open
Between now and October 8, 2014, specific LPFM applicants in the states of AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, KS (including Kansas City, MO), NE, NV, OR, UT and WA can file major change amendments and lead scoring applicants in each group can file partial settlement agreements for the purpose of aggregating points.

For engineering assistance, please contact us at 1-844-REC-NEXUS.

For a list of the LPFM applicants that can participate in this filing window, click here. (Tentative selectees have a yellow background.)

FCC Public Notice from July 9, 2014 announcing settlement window

Appendix A - LPFM applicants included in the group including tentative selectees

73.807 Minimum distance separation between stations

Summary

For Low Power FM, the FCC uses a simple method of minimum distance separation between LPFM stations and other licensed facilities.

LPFM stations must protect full power stations, FM translators and booster stations on co-channel, first adjacent and second adjacent channels.

In cases where no interference would be caused, the LPFM station could make a showing of such and request a waiver of second adjacent channel short spacing. Second adjacent channel waivers require some complex engineering work and should be referred to an engineering or consulting firm such as RECnexus.

Third adjacent channel must be protected by LPFM stations in respect to foreign FM facilities as well as domestic FM stations that carry a radio reading service for the blind.

The Intermediate Frequencies (+/- 10.6~10.8 MHz) of foreign FM stations must also be protected.

Text of Current Rule

Minimum separation requirements for LPFM stations are listed in the following paragraphs.  Except as noted below, an LPFM station will not be authorized unless the co-channel, and first- and second-adjacent channel separations are met.  An LPFM station need not satisfy the third-adjacent channel separations listed in paragraphs (a) through (c) in order to be authorized.  The third-adjacent channel separations are included for use in determining for purposes of Section 73.810 which third-adjacent channel interference regime applies to an LPFM station. 

Minimum distances for co-channel and first-adjacent channel are separated into two columns.  The left-hand column lists the required minimum separation to protect other stations and the right-hand column lists (for informational purposes only) the minimum distance necessary for the LPFM station to receive no interference from other stations assumed to be operating at the maximum permitted facilities for the station class.  For second-adjacent channel, the required minimum distance separation is sufficient to avoid interference received from other stations. 

(a)(1) An LPFM station will not be authorized initially unless the minimum distance separations in the following table are met with respect to authorized FM stations, applications for new and existing FM stations filed prior to the release of the public notice announcing an LPFM window period, authorized LPFM stations, LPFM station applications that were timely-filed within a previous window, and vacant FM allotments.  LPFM modification applications must either meet the distance separations in the following table or, if short-spaced, not lessen the spacing to subsequently authorized stations.


 

Station class protected by LPFM

Co-channel minimum separation (km)

First-adjacent channel
minimum separation (km)

Second and
third adjacent
channel
minimum
separation
(km)

 
 

Required

For no interference received from max. class facility

Required

For no interference
received
from
max. class
facility

 
 
 

Required

 

LPFM ................................................

24

24

14

14

None

 

D ........................................................

24

24

13

13

6

 

A ........................................................

67

92

56

56

29

 

B1 ......................................................

87

119

74

74

46

 

B ........................................................

112

143

97

97

67

 

C3 ......................................................

78

119

67

67

40

 

C2 ......................................................

91

143

80

84

53

 

C1 ......................................................

111

178

100

111

73

 

C0 ......................................................

122

193

111

130

84

 

C ........................................................

130

203

120

142

93

 

 

(a)(2) LPFM stations must satisfy the second-adjacent channel minimum distance separation requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section with respect to any third-adjacent channel FM station that, as of September 20, 2000, broadcasts a radio reading service via a subcarrier frequency.

(b)(1) In addition to meeting or exceeding the minimum separations in paragraph (a), new LPFM stations will not be authorized in Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands unless the minimum distance separations in the following tables are met with respect to authorized or proposed FM stations:

Station class protected by LPFM

Co-channel minimum separation (km)

First-adjacent channel
minimum separation (km)

Second and
third adjacent
channel
minimum
separation
(km)—required

Required

For no interference received from max. class facility

Required

For no interference
received
from
max. class
facility

A ........................................................

80

111

70

70

42

B1 ......................................................

95

128

82

82

53

B ........................................................

138

179

123

123

92

 

            Note to paragraphs (a) and (b):  Minimum distance separations towards “grandfathered” superpowered Reserved Band stations are as specified.

 

            Full service FM stations operating within the reserved band (Channels 201-220) with facilities in excess of those permitted in § 73.211(b)(1) or § 73.211(b)(3) shall be protected by LPFM stations in accordance with the minimum distance separations for the nearest class as determined under § 73.211. For example, a Class B1 station operating with facilities that result in a 60 dBu contour that exceeds 39 kilometers but is less than 52 kilometers would be protected by the Class B minimum distance separations. Class D stations with 60 dBu contours that exceed 5 kilometers will be protected by the Class A minimum distance separations. Class B stations with 60 dBu contours that exceed 52 kilometers will be protected as Class C1 or Class C stations depending upon the distance to the 60 dBu contour. No stations will be protected beyond Class C separations.

 

            (c)(1) In addition to meeting the separations specified in paragraphs (a) and (b), LPFM applications must meet the minimum separation requirements in the following table with respect to authorized FM translator stations, cutoff FM translator applications, and FM translator applications filed prior to the release of the Public Notice announcing the LPFM window period.

           

Distance to FM translator 60 dBu contour

Co-channel minimum separation (km)

First-adjacent channel
minimum separation (km)

Second and
third adjacent
channel
minimum
separation
(km)—required

Required

For no interference received

Required

For no interference
received
 

13.3 km or greater...........................................

39

67

28

35

21

Greater than 7.3 km, but less than 13.3 km ….

32

51

21

26

14

7.3 km or less

26

30

15

16

8

 

 

(d) Existing LPFM stations which do not meet the separations in paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section may be relocated provided that the separation to any short-spaced station is not reduced.

(e)(1)  Waiver of the second-adjacent channel separations. The Commission will entertain requests to waive the second-adjacent channel separations in paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section on a case-by-case basis.  In each case, the LPFM station must establish, using methods of predicting interference taking into account all relevant factors, including terrain-sensitive propagation models, that its proposed operations will not result in interference to any authorized radio service.  The LPFM station may do so by demonstrating that no actual interference will occur due to intervening terrain or lack of population.  The LPFM station may use an undesired/desired signal strength ratio methodology to define areas of potential interference.

(2)  Interference.  

(A)  Upon receipt of a complaint of interference from an LPFM station operating pursuant to a waiver granted under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, the Commission shall notify the identified LPFM station by telephone or other electronic communication within one business day.

(B)  An LPFM station that receives a waiver under paragraph (e)(1) of this section shall suspend operation immediately upon notification by the Commission that it is causing interference to the reception of an existing or modified full-service FM station without regard to the location of the station receiving interference.  The LPFM station shall not resume operation until such interference has been eliminated or it can demonstrate to the Commission that the interference was not due to emissions from the LPFM station.  Short test transmissions may be made during the period of suspended operation to check the efficacy of remedial measures.

(f) Commercial and noncommercial educational stations authorized under subparts B and C of this part, as well as new or modified commercial FM allotments, are not required to adhere to the separations specified in this rule section, even where new or increased interference would be created.

(g) International considerations within the border zones.

(1) Within 320 km of the Canadian border, LPFM stations must meet the following minimum separations with respect to any Canadian stations:

 

Canadian station class

Co-channel (km)

First-adjacent channel (km)

Second-adjacent channel (km)

Third-adjacent channel (km)

Intermediate frequency (IF) channel (km)

A1 & Low Power

45

30

21

20

4

A

66

50

41

40

7

B1

78

62

53

52

9

B

92

76

68

66

12

C1

113

98

89

88

19

C

124

108

99

98

28

 

(2) Within 320 km of the Mexican border, LPFM stations must meet the following separations with respect to any Mexican stations:

 

Mexican station class

Co-channel (km)

First-adjacent channel (km)

Second- and third-adjacent channel (km)

Intermediate frequency (IF) channel (km)

Low Power

27

17

9

3

A

43

32

25

5

AA

47

36

29

6

B1

67

54

45

8

B

91

76

66

11

C1

91

80

73

19

C

110

100

92

27

 

(3) The Commission will notify the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) of any LPFM authorizations in the US Virgin Islands.  Any authorization issued for a US Virgin Islands LPFM station will include a condition that permits the Commission to modify, suspend or terminate without right to a hearing if found by the Commission to be necessary to conform to any international regulations or agreements.

(4) The Commission will initiate international coordination of a LPFM proposal even where the above Canadian and Mexican spacing tables are met, if it appears that such coordination is necessary to maintain compliance with international agreements.

Rule History

Adopted in Original R&O
Amended in Sep 2000 Order
Amended in Mar 2001 Order
Amended in Mar 2012 Order
Amended in Nov 2012 Order

Minimum separation requirements for LP100 and LP10 LPFM stations, as defined in Section 73.811 and Section 73.853 of this Part, are listed in the following subsections paragraphs. Except as noted below, an An LPFM station will not be authorized unless these separations are met. co-channel, first-adjacent and second-adjacent and IF channel separations are met. An LPFM station need not satisfy the third-adjacent channel separations listed in paragraphs (a) through (d) in order to be authorized. The third-adjacent channel separations are included for use in determining for purposes of Section 73.810 which third-adjacent channel interference regime applies to an LPFM station. 

            Minimum distances for co-channel and first-adjacent channel are separated into two columns. The left-hand column lists the required minimum separation to protect other stations and the right-hand column lists (for informational purposes only) the minimum distance necessary for the LPFM station to receive no interference from other stations assumed to be operating at the maximum permitted facilities for the station class. For second- and third-adjacent channels and IF channels, the required minimum distance separation is sufficient to avoid interference received from other stations.

(a)(1) An LP100 LPFM station will not be authorized initially unless the minimum distance separations in the following table are met with respect to authorized FM stations, timely-filed applications for new and existing FM stations filed prior to the release of the public notice announcing an LPFM window period, authorized LP100 LPFM stations, LP100 LPFM station applications that were timely-filed within a previous window, and vacant FM allotments. LP100 stations are not required to protect LP10 stations. LPFM modification applications must either meet the distance separations in the following table or, if short-spaced, not lessen the spacing to subsequently authorized stations.

(LP-100 LPFM Chart) - In Sep 2000 Order, IF seperations have been changed as follows: Class D from 4 to 3, Class A from 7 to 6. Mar 2001 Order: Codified Third Adjacent Channel Protection. LP100 renamed LPFM.

(a)(2) LP100 LPFM stations must satisfy the second-adjacent channel minimum distance separation requirements of subsection (a)(1) with respect to any third-adjacent channel FM station that, as of September 20, 2000, (the adoption date of this Memorandum Opinion and Order) broadcasts a radio reading service via a subcarrier frequency.

(b)(1) An LP10 station will not be authorized unless the minimum distance separations in the following table are met with respect to authorized FM stations, timely-filed applications for new and existing FM stations filed prior to the release of the public notice announcing a window period for LP10 stations, vacant FM allotments, or LPFM stations.

(LP-10 Chart) Mar 2001 Order: Codified Third Adjacent Channel Protection.

(b)(2) LP10 stations must satisfy the second-adjacent channel minimum distance separation requirements of subsection (b)(1) with respect to any third-adjacent channel FM station that, as of September 20, 2000 (the adoption date of this Memorandum Opinion and Order) broadcasts a radio reading service via a subcarrier frequency.

(c) (b)(1) In addition to meeting or exceeding the minimum separations for Class LP100 and Class LP10 stations in subsections in paragraph (a) and (b) of this rule section above, new LP100 and LP10 LPFM stations will not be authorized in Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands unless the minimum distance separations in the following tables are met with respect to authorized or proposed FM stations:

(1) LP100 stations in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands:

(LPFM Chart) In Sep 2000 Order, IF spacing for Class B changed from 20 to 19. Mar 2001 Order: Codified Third Adjacent Channel Protection.  LP100 name changed to LPFM.

(2) LP10 stations in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands:

(LP-10 Chart) Mar 2001 Order: Codified Third Adjacent Channel Protection.

NOTE TO PARAGRAPHS (a) AND (b): Minimum distance separations towards “grandfathered” superpowered Reserved Band stations are as specified. , subsections (a), (b), and (c) above :

Full service FM stations operating within the reserved band (Channels 201-220) with facilities in excess of those permitted in § 73.211(b)(1) or § 73.211(b)(3) shall be protected by LPFM stations in accordance with the minimum distance separations for the nearest class as determined under § 73.211. For example, a Class B1 station operating with facilities that result in a 60 dBu contour that exceeds 39 kilometers but is less than 52 kilometers would be protected by the Class B minimum distance separations. Class D stations with 60 dBu contours that exceed 5 kilometers will be protected by the Class A minimum distance separations. Class B stations with 60 dBu contours that exceed 52 kilometers will be protected as Class C1 or Class C stations depending upon the distance to the 60 dBu contour. No stations will be protected beyond Class C separations.

(c)(1) (d) In addition to meeting the separations in subsections (a) through (c) above, LPFM applications must meet the minimum separation requirements in the following tables with respect to authorized FM translator stations, cutoff FM translator applications, and FM translator applications filed prior to the release of the Public Notice announcing the LPFM window period:

(1) LPFM  stations: (LP-100 Chart) Mar 2001 Order: Codified Third Adjacent Channel Protection. Name changed to from LP-100 to LPFM.

(2) LP10 stations:

(LP-10 Chart) Mar 2001 Order: Codified Third Adjacent Channel Protection.

(f) (d) Existing Class LP100 and LP10 LPFM stations which do not meet the separations in the tables in subsections (a) through (e) (c) above may be relocated provided that the separation to any short-spaced station is not reduced.

(e)(1)  Waiver of the second-adjacent channel separations. The Commission will entertain requests to waive the second-adjacent channel separations in paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section on a case-by-case basis.  In each case, the LPFM station must establish, using methods of predicting interference taking into account all relevant factors, including terrain-sensitive propagation models, that its proposed operations will not result in interference to any authorized radio service.  The LPFM station may do so by demonstrating that no actual interference will occur due to intervening terrain or lack of population.  The LPFM station may use an undesired/desired signal strength ratio methodology to define areas of potential interference.

(2)  Interference.  

(A)  Upon receipt of a complaint of interference from an LPFM station operating pursuant to a waiver granted under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, the Commission shall notify the identified LPFM station by telephone or other electronic communication within one business day.

(B)  An LPFM station that receives a waiver under paragraph (e)(1) of this section shall suspend operation immediately upon notification by the Commission that it is causing interference to the reception of an existing or modified full-service FM station without regard to the location of the station receiving interference.  The LPFM station shall not resume operation until such interference has been eliminated or it can demonstrate to the Commission that the interference was not due to emissions from the LPFM station.  Short test transmissions may be made during the period of suspended operation to check the efficacy of remedial measures.

(g) Commercial and noncommercial educational stations authorized under Subparts B and C of this Part, as well as new or modified commercial FM allotments, are not required to adhere to the separations specified in this rule section, even where new or increased interference would be created.

(f) Commercial and noncommercial educational stations authorized under subparts B and C of this part, as well as new or modified commercial FM allotments, are not required to adhere to the separations specified in this rule section, even where new or increased interference would be created.

(h) (g) International considerations within the border zones

(1) Within 320 km of the Canadian border, LP100  LPFM stations must meet the following minimum separations with respect to any Canadian stations:

(LPFM Chart) Added protection to Canadian Low Power Stations same as A1 levels. Revised seperation to Class C: Co Channel: 118 to 124 km and First Adj: 106 to 108km.  LP-100 changed to LPFM.

(2) Within 320 km of the Mexican border, LP100  LPFM stations must meet the following separations with respect to any Mexican stations:

(LPFM Chart) Added protection to Mexican Low Power FM stations: Co Channel: 27km, first adjacent: 17km, second/third adjacent: 9km and IF: 3km. LP-100 changed to LPFM.

(3) Within 320 km of the Canadian border, LP10 stations must meet the following minimum separations with respect to any Canadian stations:

(LP-10 Chart) Added protection to Canadian Low Power FM stations same as Class A1. Updated protection to Class C to reflect Co Channel: 108 to 111 km and First adjacent: 102 to 103km.

(4) Within 320 km of the Mexican border, LP10 stations must meet the following separations with respect to any Mexican stations:

(LP-10 Chart) Added protection to Mexican Low Power FM stations: Co Channel: 19km, First Adjacent: 13km, Second and Third Adjacent: 9km and IF: 2km.

(5) (3) The Commission will notify the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) of any LPFM authorizations in the US Virgin Islands. Any authorization issued for a US Virgin Islands LPFM station will include a condition that permits the Commission to modify, suspend or terminate without right to a hearing if found by the Commission to be necessary to conform to any international regulations or agreements.

(6) The Commission will may , at its option, initiate international coordination of a LPFM proposal even where the above Canadian and Mexican spacing tables are met, if it appears that such coordination is necessary to maintain compliance with international agreements.