by Bill Moyers
August 24, 2007
LPFM activist Hannah Sassaman and media journalist Rick Karr discuss the current battle to protect and bolster low-power FM radio. Plus, a look back at how low-power radio helped to save lives after Hurricane Katrina.
In 2000, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) created Low Powered FM Radio Service (LPFM) in response to the growth of media consolidation spurred on by rule changes in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
LPFM provides local, non-commercial and educational radio service, with transmissions extending for about 3 miles (100 watts or less), depending on terrain and geographical interference.
Today, hundreds of LPFM stations are on the air, mostly in rural areas due to strict distance requirements imposed by the FCC, after certain factions within the broadcast industry voiced concerns about interference.
“In the top 50 radio markets, urban spaces where small stations can reach many people, LPFM is completely unavailable,” reports the Media Access Project, a non-profit Public Interest Telecommunications Law Firm.
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