After Fifteen Years: Final Rules Beneficial for Community Groups in Cities & Suburbs Across the Nation
Washington DC - Friday morning the long process to establish a legal low-power radio service across the country came to an end, closing the circle between the community groups that fought for it for more than a decade, the halls of Congress and the regulatory agency that finally gave the green light.
As FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn said in her official remarks: "Special thanks are due to the stakeholders involved in reaching today’s compromise, notably REC, Common Frequency, and Prometheus. Their advocacy for the future of radio is inspiring, and this order is a testament to their hard work and dedication."
The decision means that thousands of new radio stations can spring to life in the spaces between the signals of long-established broadcasters, opening the airwaves to a wide variety of locally-based alternatives for news, information, arts and culture.
Advocates like Common Frequency, REC Networks and Prometheus Radio Project submitted hundreds of pages of engineering studies to support the passage of the Local Community Radio Act last fall and to make sure the final rules of the road fulfilled the intention of the bill passed by both houses of congress and signed by the president. balanced the needs of community groups across the country to serve their local neighborhoods with the concerns of incumbent broadcasters.
Common Frequency and others came up with innovative solutions including the use of 2nd adjacent channel waivers to make the best possible use of all the available broadcasting space, and formulas for balancing existing applications for translators with new applications for community-based low power stations.
More to come on the great challenge that lies ahead bringing the promise of the Local Community Radio Act to full fruition by the October 2013 filing window.
A complete video archive of this morning's historic proceeding can be viewed by clicking below.