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Dear community radio allies,
What are you doing in October 2013? This morning the FCC voted to create new opportunities for community radio stations, in cities and rural areas alike. Next fall, groups around the country can finally apply to start new stations.
At Prometheus we love to get technical, so I'll share the wonky details on the new FCC rules below. But first, what does today's FCC vote really mean?
The number of low power stations in the U.S. could double or triple.
Communities in most urban areas will no longer be excluded from starting our own stations.
Together, we have once again defeated powerful broadcast lobbyists fighting to keep "their" turf (the public airwaves).
In October 2013, we will have the first chance to start new low power stations anywhere in the country in more than a decade.
We can't wait! Prometheus led the fight to pass the Local Community Radio Act, and we've kept the pressure on the FCC to implement it. With your help, we are ready to move from fighting in Washington to building stations nationwide.
Now that we've celebrated the big picture, I'll get technical. Here are some of the highlights of the FCC rules
New low power stations may be as close as the "second adjacent frequency" (two clicks on the dial) to neighboring stations, as long as they won't cause interference. The old rules kept low power radio stations so far away from others that there was no room on the dial anywhere outside of rural and suburban areas. This was the major battle for community radio over the past two years, and we won!
Low power stations may now own up to two FM translators (repeater stations that boost a station's signal). For stations that can afford to buy a translator, this new rule can dramatically improve a station's coverage.
In the application process for new stations, the FCC has created an extra credit "point" for stations pledging to maintain a publicly accessible studio that is staffed (by volunteers or paid staff) at least 20 hours each week. The new "main studio" point will ensure that genuine community-run stations have an advantage in the competitive licensing process over "canned programming in a closet" stations with no local presence.
The FCC has announced that they will accept applications for new community stations starting on October 15, 2013. But first, the agency must clear a backlog of pending applications for other stations. The deadline could always get pushed back, so be sure to sign up () for our applicant list so we can keep you updated with the latest news and Prometheus resources.
Read our full press release and stay tuned for more details once the complete rules are released to the public!
Prometheus Radio Project
Brandy Doyle, Policy Director
Prometheus Radio Project
w: 215.727.9620 ext. 518