LPFM Radio Explained
In 2000 the Federal Communications Commission created LPFM radio service to provide non-profit educational organizations, safety groups and some government offices a voice on the air waves. This was done in response to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which changed radio ownership rules and allowed large media companies to own multiple radio stations in the same market, diminishing the number of independent voices on the air. To date there have only been two filing windows for LPFM applications, one in 2000 and one in October 2013. It is unlikely there will be any future filing windows for this service.
LPFM radio stations broadcast with an output power of 100 watts and typically provide reliable coverage area of 3-5 miles from the antenna, depending on antenna location and terrain. The currently approved antenna location for WUUK-LP is near Canadohta Lake on Ash Street which is a relatively low lying area so the expected coverage will be approximately 2-3 miles. This will provide adequate coverage in the immediate Canadohta Lake area only. The FCC does allow relocating the antenna and transmitter up to 5 km from the original location with proper approvals. After WUUK-LP is on the air CCRG would like to explore the possibility of relocating the transmitter and antenna to a higher location to offer better coverage beyond the immediate Canadohta Lake area.
It is important to understand that only non-profit organizations are permitted to hold LPFM licenses. Also, LPFM radio stations are non-commercial and must be supported through fundraisers, donations, underwriting, grants, etc.. The proceeds of all revenue generated must be used to fund operations of the radio station and cannot be used for inurement of any individuals. In other words, WUUK-LP radio is a public service operation and not a business venture on the part of the Canadohta Community Radio Group. The budget and operations of WUUK-LP will be determined entirely by the level of financial support received from the community.
OTHER EXAMPLES OF LPFM RADIO
There are currently about 1,000 LPFM radio stations operating in the United States.
There are several in northwestern Pensylvania. Here are two examples in close proximity to Canadohta Lake:
Cambridge Springs, PA - WXCS-LP * 92.9FM - Offers bluegrass and blues music as well as other community programming. Listen online at www.wxcs.org.
Union City, PA - WFSN-LP * 96.7FM - Offers children’s programming, high school sports and other community programming. Listen online at ucfsc.org.
For more information about LPFM radio visit the FCC LPFM page at www.fcc.gov/guides/low-power-fm-radio-lpfm.