19-193: FCC adopts NPRM on LPFM technical changes

In advance of the August 1, 2019 FCC Open Meeting, the Commission has adopted the LPFM technical Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, MB Docket 19-193.  This item is expected to include the following proposed changes:

  • The ability for LPFM stations to move more than 5.6 km upon the showing of a contour study showing overlap between the current and proposed locations.
  • The ability to use directional antennas to protect foreign allocations, which will permit some stations in Tucson, San Diego and other places along the Mexican border to increase to 100 watts in some directions.
  • The ability for LPFM to request up to 2 booster stations (counted as translators) without the need of a waiver request.
  • To put an interim policy in place to allow LPFM stations to use channels in the reserved band (88.1~91.9 MHz) that meet all distance separations to radio broadcast facilities but are only short-spaced to TV channel 6 stations by using a contour study similar to the one in effect for translators.
  • After the proposed sunset date for analog operations of LPTV channel 6 stations on July 21, 2021, the elimination of all TV Channel 6 protections requirements by all radio broadcast facilities (full-service, LPFM, translators and boosters) in the reserved band.

The text of the adopted NPRM is expected out on Wednesday, July 31. 

Stay tuned to REC channels for more details as we receive them.