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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

LPFM bill faces subcommittee vote in US House tomorrow

From Prometheus Radio Project:
Washington, DC – A bipartisan bill to expand community radio has been scheduled for a vote by Chairman Rick Boucher (D-VA) on Thursday at 10 AM, in the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet.

The Local Community Radio Act would allow the FCC to license hundreds of new low power non-commercial radio stations nationwide. Most communities, especially large cities, have had severely limited opportunities to apply for these new radio licenses.

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) reaffirmed his support for the Local Community Radio Act to an enthusiastic crowd at the Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit on Tuesday, calling it “our Christmas present this year.” Rep. Doyle has been leading the push for Low Power FM in Congress, along with lead co-sponsor Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE). Independent musicians have been longtime supporters of Low Power FM as a venue to share their music.

“We’d like to thank Congressmen Doyle, Boucher, Waxman and all Congressional supporters of low power radio. The hard work of these leaders and their staff to bring this legislation to a vote will yield great results for America’s local media landscape,” said Pete Tridish, founding member of Prometheus Radio Project.

The Local Community Radio Act reverses legislation from 2000 that limited the FCC's authority to license low power radio. Broadcasters claimed that low power radio would cause interference, but a Congressionally mandated study later showed that low power stations (which operate at 100 watts or less) do not interfere with full power stations.

"Thousands of communities could finally have a chance to have their own radio station,” said Cory Fischer-Hoffman, Campaign Director for the Prometheus Radio Project. "We hear from schools, churches, community groups, emergency responders, and local governments who want a local forum for news and information. They're eager for this opportunity."

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