FAQ: Can I upgrade an LPFM station to a full-service NCE station and stay on the same channel?

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In most cases, no.  

The NCE window is only for 88.1~91.9 MHz (Channels 201~220).  These are the only channels that are reserved for noncommercial educational broadcast stations.

Most LPFM stations are in the band of 92.1~107.9 MHz (Channels 221~300).  

Even for LPFM stations on channels 201~220, your current channel may not be available.  Unlike LPFM stations, full-service stations must protect other full-service stations on co-, first-, second- and third-adjacent channels as well as meeting distance separation requirements with commercial stations on Channels 221~300.  Full-service stations must also protect 10 full-service Channel 6 TV stations.  Full-service stations are not required to protect LPFM stations, FM translators and low-power TV (LPTV) stations on Channel 6. 


LPFM stations upgrading to full-service NCE
Answer Date: 
Tuesday, June 1, 2021