As of August 2001, slightly more than 100 new low power FM (LPFM) construction permits have been issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). At least two stations are reportedly on the air for “program testing” purposes, awaiting receipt of their actual licenses to go to full-time on air status.
It’s been more than a year and a half since the FCC announced the creation of the LPFM service and many would say that coming so far so soon is excellent performance for a federal bureaucracy.
But some of the applicants that had hoped for an LPFM license have given up on the process. They cite third-party harassment and a diminished willingness by the FCC to work with them. Since Republican Chairman Michael Powell took control of the agency earlier this year, there’s been a definite chill on the pace of LPFM’s rollout.