One of the things I spoke about at the 2016 LPFM Summit at the National Federation of Community Broadcasters in Denver was about the most common myths and misunderstandings that some have had about LPFM. Many times, these misunderstands come from confusion with the full-power rules or because of how vague the rules and FCC policy has been on these subjects.
MYTH: LPFM stations are required to maintain a public file and make it available for public inspection.
FACT: Section 73.801 of the rules is a great cross reference to what other broadcast rules also apply to LPFM stations. Section 73.3527 deals with the public inspection files for non-commercial broadcast stations. 73.801 does not cross reference 73.3527 as applying to LPFM. This means that LPFM stations are not required to maintain a public inspection file.
In a letter to the FCC commissioners and senior Media Bureau staff, REC has given an update to refresh the record on RM-11749, the REC LP-250 petition for rulemaking. Despite the FCC's AM Revitalization efforts which involve an opportunity for Class C and D AM stations to obtain an FM translator and move it up to 250 miles, the percentage of granted LPFM stations that can upgrade to the proposed LP-250 service on the same channel has only fallen from 73% to 72%. While there will be three more filing windows for FM translators within the next year, REC does expect this number to fall further but overall, we expect the upgrade rate to remain extremely high.
Existing LPFM stations in Southern California through coordination with Common Frequency have stepped-up to help reduce the number of applicants in the 101.5 MX group #27. Group 27 originally started with 32 applicants all competing for a piece of 101.5, the only §73.807 spaced channel available region-wide.
Last December, G-Final Cut, permittee of 99.1 in Carson had agreed to share time with Long Beach Community Television and Media. G-Final has now filed a time share agreement with The Church in Anaheim to move their station to Anaheim and share time with the church on 101.5.
Venice permittee, Reach For the Top has agreed to share time with several of the former "Westside 5" applicants including Future Roots, Machine Project and Echo Park Film Center. The three applicants will co-locate at a commercial site in the Hollywood Hills on 99.1.
In the San Fernando Valley, the organization Cinefamily has agreed to allow Glendale-based Materials & Applications share time on their 96.7 grant in the Verdugo Mountains.