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FCC to pursue new rules on low-power radio

  |   July 13, 2011 at 12:59 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 13 (UPI) -- The Federal Communications Commission voted to pursue new rules to expand non-commercial, low-power radio in major U.S. urban areas, an advocacy group said.

President Obama earlier this year signed legislation allowing for the expansion of low-power FM radio. However, no channels may have existed for new applicants in many major urban areas because of competition between service for the channels, with debate centered on balancing the licensing of translator -- or repeater FM stations -- and LPFM service.

The FCC Tuesday approved the rulemaking to balance LPFM and translator service based on research data, Common Frequency, a California non-profit that sought the rulemaking, said in a release Wednesday.

The data including stipulating possible market-specific action for systematic dismissal of translator applications to preserve space for new LPFM service in major cities, Common Frequency said. Such a proposal would allow LPFM service to grow nationwide, the organization said.

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