We are two months into 2001 and halfway through the first FCC filing windows for new low power FM (LPFM) station licenses. The progress being made is slow and uncertain.
Two of the three filing windows that have opened and closed so far happened while Big Broadcasting was engaged in its overtime lobbying of Congress to kill the LPFM service. When that effort all but succeeded in December 2000, it put all of those LPFM applications filed – more than 1,000 in all – in jeopardy, as the rules governing the service shifted under the feet of the applicants, in some cases immediately disqualifying many of them.
Since LPFM’s evisceration, a third filing window has opened and closed – and another 500-plus LPFM applications have been submitted. In all, more than 1,700 applications for LPFM station licenses have been received by the FCC.