Home
gpo.gov
govinfo.gov

e-CFR Navigation Aids

Browse

Simple Search

Advanced Search

 — Boolean

 — Proximity

 

Search History

Search Tips

Corrections

Latest Updates

User Info

FAQs

Agency List

Incorporation By Reference

eCFR logo

Related Resources

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

We invite you to try out our new beta eCFR site at https://ecfr.federalregister.gov. We have made big changes to make the eCFR easier to use. Be sure to leave feedback using the Feedback button on the bottom right of each page!

e-CFR data is current as of November 25, 2020

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter CPart 73 → Subpart G


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 73—RADIO BROADCAST SERVICES


Subpart G—Low Power FM Broadcast Stations (LPFM)


Contents
§73.801   Broadcast regulations applicable to LPFM stations.
§73.805   Availability of channels.
§73.807   Minimum distance separation between stations.
§73.808   Distance computations.
§73.809   Interference protection to full service FM stations.
§73.810   Third adjacent channel interference.
§73.811   LPFM power and antenna height requirements.
§73.812   Rounding of power and antenna heights.
§73.813   Determination of antenna height above average terrain (HAAT).
§73.816   Antennas.
§73.825   Protection to reception of TV channel 6.
§73.827   Interference to the input signals of FM translator or FM booster stations.
§73.840   Operating power and mode tolerances.
§73.845   Transmission system operation.
§73.850   Operating schedule.
§73.853   Licensing requirements and service.
§73.854   Unlicensed radio operations.
§73.855   Ownership limits.
§73.858   Attribution of LPFM station interests.
§73.860   Cross-ownership.
§73.865   Assignment and transfer of LPFM permits and licenses.
§73.870   Processing of LPFM broadcast station applications.
§73.871   Amendment of LPFM broadcast station applications.
§73.872   Selection procedure for mutually exclusive LPFM applications.
§73.873   LPFM license period.
§73.875   Modification of transmission systems.
§73.877   Station logs for LPFM stations.
§73.878   Station inspections by FCC; availability to FCC of station logs and records.
§73.879   Signal retransmission.
§73.881   Equal employment opportunities.

Source: 65 FR 7640, Feb. 15, 2000, unless otherwise noted.

return arrow Back to Top

§73.801   Broadcast regulations applicable to LPFM stations.

The following rules are applicable to LPFM stations:

Section 73.201   Numerical definition of FM broadcast channels.

Section 73.220   Restrictions on use of channels.

Section 73.267   Determining operating power.

Section 73.277   Permissible transmissions.

Section 73.297   FM stereophonic sound broadcasting.

Section 73.310   FM technical definitions.

Section 73.312   Topographic data.

Section 73.318   FM blanketing interference.

Section 73.322   FM stereophonic sound transmission standards.

Section 73.333   Engineering charts.

Section 73.503   Licensing requirements and service.

Section 73.508   Standards of good engineering practice.

Section 73.593   Subsidiary communications services.

Section 73.1015   Truthful written statements and responses to Commission inquiries and correspondence.

Section 73.1030   Notifications concerning interference to radio astronomy, research and receiving installations.

Section 73.1201   Station identification.

Section 73.1206   Broadcast of telephone conversations.

Section 73.1207   Rebroadcasts.

Section 73.1208   Broadcast of taped, filmed, or recorded material.

Section 73.1210   TV/FM dual-language broadcasting in Puerto Rico.

Section 73.1211   Broadcast of lottery information.

Section 73.1212   Sponsorship identification; list retention; related requirements.

Section 73.1213   Antenna structure, marking and lighting.

Section 73.1216   Licensee-conducted contests.

Section 73.1217   Broadcast hoaxes.

Section 73.1250   Broadcasting emergency information.

Section 73.1300   Unattended station operation.

Section 73.1400   Transmission system monitoring and control.

Section 73.1520   Operation for tests and maintenance.

Section 73.1540   Carrier frequency measurements.

Section 73.1545   Carrier frequency departure tolerances.

Section 73.1570   Modulation levels: AM, FM, and TV aural.

Section 73.1580   Transmission system inspections.

Section 73.1610   Equipment tests.

Section 73.1620   Program tests.

Section 73.1650   International agreements.

Section 73.1660   Acceptability of broadcast transmitters.

Section 73.1665   Main transmitters.

Section 73.1692   Broadcast station construction near or installation on an AM broadcast tower.

Section 73.1745   Unauthorized operation.

Section 73.1750   Discontinuance of operation.

Section 73.1920   Personal attacks.

Section 73.1940   Legally qualified candidates for public office.

Section 73.1941   Equal opportunities.

Section 73.1943   Political file.

Section 73.1944   Reasonable access.

Section 73.3511   Applications required.

Section 73.3512   Where to file; number of copies.

Section 73.3513   Signing of applications.

Section 73.3514   Content of applications.

Section 73.3516   Specification of facilities.

Section 73.3517   Contingent applications.

Section 73.3518   Inconsistent or conflicting applications.

Section 73.3519   Repetitious applications.

Section 73.3520   Multiple applications.

Section 73.3525   Agreements for removing application conflicts.

Section 73.3539   Application for renewal of license.

Section 73.3542   Application for emergency authorization.

Section 73.3545   Application for permit to deliver programs to foreign stations.

Section 73.3550   Requests for new or modified call sign assignments.

Section 73.3561   Staff consideration of applications requiring Commission consideration.

Section 73.3562   Staff consideration of applications not requiring action by the Commission.

Section 73.3566   Defective applications.

Section 73.3568   Dismissal of applications.

Section 73.3580   Local public notice of filing of broadcast applications.

Section 73.3584   Procedure for filing petitions to deny.

Section 73.3587   Procedure for filing informal objections.

Section 73.3588   Dismissal of petitions to deny or withdrawal of informal objections.

Section 73.3589   Threats to file petitions to deny or informal objections.

Section 73.3591   Grants without hearing.

Section 73.3593   Designation for hearing.

Section 73.3598   Period of construction.

Section 73.3599   Forfeiture of construction permit.

Section 73.3999   Enforcement of 18 U.S.C. 1464—restrictions on the transmission of obscene and indecent material.

[65 FR 7640, Feb. 15, 2000, as amended at 84 FR 2758, Feb. 8, 2019; 85 FR 36794, June 18, 2020]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.805   Availability of channels.

Except as provided in §73.220 of this chapter, all of the frequencies listed in §73.201 of this chapter are available for LPFM stations.

return arrow Back to Top

§73.807   Minimum distance separation between stations.

Minimum separation requirements for LPFM stations are listed in the following paragraphs. Except as noted below, an LPFM station will not be authorized unless the co-channel, and first- and second-adjacent channel separations are met. An LPFM station need not satisfy the third-adjacent channel separations listed in paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section in order to be authorized. The third-adjacent channel separations are included for use in determining for purposes of §73.810 which third-adjacent channel interference regime applies to an LPFM station. Minimum distances for co-channel and first-adjacent channel are separated into two columns. The left-hand column lists the required minimum separation to protect other stations and the right-hand column lists (for informational purposes only) the minimum distance necessary for the LPFM station to receive no interference from other stations assumed to be operating at the maximum permitted facilities for the station class. For second-adjacent channel, the required minimum distance separation is sufficient to avoid interference received from other stations.

(a)(1) An LPFM station will not be authorized initially unless the minimum distance separations in the following table are met with respect to authorized FM stations, applications for new and existing FM stations filed prior to the release of the public notice announcing an LPFM window period, authorized LPFM stations, LPFM station applications that were timely-filed within a previous window, and vacant FM allotments. LPFM modification applications must either meet the distance separations in the following table or, if short-spaced, not lessen the spacing to subsequently authorized stations.

Station class protected by LPFMCo-channel minimum separation
(km)
First-adjacent channel
minimum separation
(km)
Second and
third adjacent
channel
minimum
separation
(km)
RequiredFor no
interference received from max. class
facility
RequiredFor no
interference
received
from
max. class
facility
Required
LPFM24241414None
D242413136
A6792565629
B187119747446
B112143979767
C378119676740
C291143808453
C111117810011173
C012219311113084
C13020312014293

(2) LPFM stations must satisfy the second-adjacent channel minimum distance separation requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section with respect to any third-adjacent channel FM station that, as of September 20, 2000, broadcasts a radio reading service via a subcarrier frequency.

(b) In addition to meeting or exceeding the minimum separations in paragraph (a) of this section, new LPFM stations will not be autorized in Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands unless the minimum distance separations in the following tables are met with respect to authorized or proposed FM stations:

Station class protected by LPFMCo-channel minimum separation (km)First-adjacent channel
minimum separation
(km)
Second and
third adjacent
channel
minimum
separation
(km)—required
RequiredFor no
interference received from max. class
facility
RequiredFor no
interference
received
from
max. class
facility
A80111707042
B195128828253
B13817912312392

Note to paragraphs (a) and (b): Minimum distance separations towards “grandfathered” superpowered Reserved Band stations are as specified. Full service FM stations operating within the reserved band (Channels 201-220) with facilities in excess of those permitted in §73.211(b)(1) or (b)(3) shall be protected by LPFM stations in accordance with the minimum distance separations for the nearest class as determined under §73.211. For example, a Class B1 station operating with facilities that result in a 60 dBu contour that exceeds 39 kilometers but is less than 52 kilometers would be protected by the Class B minimum distance separations. Class D stations with 60 dBu contours that exceed 5 kilometers will be protected by the Class A minimum distance separations. Class B stations with 60 dBu contours that exceed 52 kilometers will be protected as Class C1 or Class C stations depending upon the distance to the 60 dBu contour. No stations will be protected beyond Class C separations.

(c) In addition to meeting the separations specified in paragraphs (a) and (b), LPFM applications must meet the minimum separation requirements in the following table with respect to authorized FM translator stations, cutoff FM translator applications, and FM translator applications filed prior to the release of the Public Notice announcing the LPFM window period.

Distance to FM translator 60 dBu contourCo-channel minimum separation (km)First-adjacent channel
minimum separation (km)
Second and
third adjacent
channel
minimum
separation
(km)—required
RequiredFor no
interference
received
RequiredFor no
interference
received
13.3 km or greater3967283521
Greater than 7.3 km, but less than 13.3 km3251212614
7.3 km or less263015168

(d) Existing LPFM stations which do not meet the separations in paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section may be relocated provided that the separation to any short-spaced station is not reduced.

(e)(1) Waiver of the second-adjacent channel separations. The Commission will entertain requests to waive the second-adjacent channel separations in paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section on a case-by-case basis. In each case, the LPFM station must establish, using methods of predicting interference taking into account all relevant factors, including terrain-sensitive propagation models, that its proposed operations will not result in interference to any authorized radio service. The LPFM station may do so by demonstrating that no actual interference will occur due to intervening terrain or lack of population. The LPFM station may use an undesired/desired signal strength ratio methodology to define areas of potential interference.

(2) Interference. (i) Upon receipt of a complaint of interference from an LPFM station operating pursuant to a waiver granted under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, the Commission shall notify the identified LPFM station by telephone or other electronic communication within one business day.

(ii) An LPFM station that receives a waiver under paragraph (e)(1) of this section shall suspend operation immediately upon notification by the Commission that it is causing interference to the reception of an existing or modified full-service FM station without regard to the location of the station receiving interference. The LPFM station shall not resume operation until such interference has been eliminated or it can demonstrate to the Commission that the interference was not due to emissions from the LPFM station. Short test transmissions may be made during the period of suspended operation to check the efficacy of remedial measures.

(f) Commercial and noncommercial educational stations authorized under subparts B and C of this part, as well as new or modified commercial FM allotments, are not required to adhere to the separations specified in this rule section, even where new or increased interference would be created.

(g) International considerations within the border zones. (1) Within 320 km of the Canadian border, LPFM stations must meet the following minimum separations with respect to any Canadian stations:

Canadian station classCo-channel
(km)
First-adjacent channel
(km)
Second-
adjacent
channel
(km)
Third-adjacent channel
(km)
Intermediate
frequency (IF)
channel
(km)
A1 & Low Power453021204
A665041407
B1786253529
B9276686612
C111398898819
C124108999828

(2) Within 320 km of the Mexican border, LPFM stations must meet the following separations with respect to any Mexican stations:

Mexican station classCo-channel
(km)
First-adjacent channel
(km)
Second- and third-adjacent channel
(km)
Intermediate
frequency (IF)
channel
(km)
Low Power271793
A4332255
AA4736296
B16754458
B91766611
C191807319
C1101009227

(3) The Commission will notify the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) of any LPFM authorizations in the US Virgin Islands. Any authorization issued for a US Virgin Islands LPFM station will include a condition that permits the Commission to modify, suspend or terminate without right to a hearing if found by the Commission to be necessary to conform to any international regulations or agreements.

(4) The Commission will initiate international coordination of a LPFM proposal even where the above Canadian and Mexican spacing tables are met, if it appears that such coordination is necessary to maintain compliance with international agreements.

(5)(i) LPFM stations located within 125 kilometers of the Mexican border are limited to 50 watts (0.05 kW) ERP, a 60 dBu service contour of 8.7 kilometers and a 34 dBu interfering contour of 32 kilometers in the direction of the Mexican border. LPFM stations may operate up to 100 watts in all other directions.

(ii) LPFM stations located between 125 kilometers and 320 kilometers from the Mexican border may operate in excess of 50 watts, up to a maximum ERP of 100 watts. However, in no event shall the location of the 60 dBu contour lie within 116.3 kilometers of the Mexican border.

(iii) Applications for LPFM stations within 320 kilometers of the Canadian border may employ an ERP of up to a maximum of 100 watts. The distance to the 34 dBu interfering contour may not exceed 60 kilometers in any direction.

[78 FR 2102, Jan. 9, 2013, as amended at 85 FR 35573, June 11, 2020]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.808   Distance computations.

For the purposes of determining compliance with any LPFM distance requirements, distances shall be calculated in accordance with §73.208(c) of this part.

return arrow Back to Top

§73.809   Interference protection to full service FM stations.

(a) If a full service commercial or NCE FM facility application is filed subsequent to the filing of an LPFM station facility application, such full service station is protected against any condition of interference to the direct reception of its signal that is caused by such LPFM station operating on the same channel or first-adjacent channel provided that the interference is predicted to occur and actually occurs within:

(1) The 3.16 mV/m (70 dBu) contour of such full service station;

(2) The community of license of such full service station; or

(3) Any area of the community of license of such full service station that is predicted to receive at least a 1 mV/m (60 dBu) signal. Predicted interference shall be calculated in accordance with the ratios set forth in §73.215 paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2). Intermediate frequency (IF) channel interference overlap will be determined based upon overlap of the 91 dBu F(50,50) contours of the FM and LPFM stations. Actual interference will be considered to occur whenever reception of a regularly used signal is impaired by the signal radiated by the LPFM station.

(b) An LPFM station will be provided an opportunity to demonstrate in connection with the processing of the commercial or NCE FM application that interference as described in paragraph (a) of this section is unlikely. If the LPFM station fails to so demonstrate, it will be required to cease operations upon the commencement of program tests by the commercial or NCE FM station.

(c) Complaints of actual interference by an LPFM station subject to paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section must be served on the LPFM licensee and the Federal Communications Commission, attention Audio Services Division. The LPFM station must suspend operations within twenty-four hours of the receipt of such complaint unless the interference has been resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant on the basis of suitable techniques. An LPFM station may only resume operations at the direction of the Federal Communications Commission. If the Commission determines that the complainant has refused to permit the LPFM station to apply remedial techniques that demonstrably will eliminate the interference without impairment of the original reception, the licensee of the LPFM station is absolved of further responsibility for the complaint.

(d) It shall be the responsibility of the licensee of an LPFM station to correct any condition of interference that results from the radiation of radio frequency energy outside its assigned channel. Upon notice by the FCC to the station licensee or operator that such interference is caused by spurious emissions of the station, operation of the station shall be immediately suspended and not resumed until the interference has been eliminated. However, short test transmissions may be made during the period of suspended operation to check the efficacy of remedial measures.

(e) In each instance where suspension of operation is required, the licensee shall submit a full report to the FCC in Washington, DC, after operation is resumed, containing details of the nature of the interference, the source of the interfering signals, and the remedial steps taken to eliminate the interference.

[65 FR 7640, Feb. 15, 2000, as amended at 65 FR 67302, Nov. 9, 2000; 73 FR 3216, Jan. 17, 2008; 78 FR 2104, Jan. 9, 2013]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.810   Third adjacent channel interference.

(a) LPFM Stations Licensed at Locations That Do Not Satisfy Third-Adjacent Channel Minimum Distance Separations. An LPFM station licensed at a location that does not satisfy the third-adjacent channel minimum distance separations set forth in §73.807 is subject to the following provisions:

(1) Such an LPFM station will not be permitted to continue to operate if it causes any actual third-adjacent channel interference to:

(i) The transmission of any authorized broadcast station; or

(ii) The reception of the input signal of any TV translator, TV booster, FM translator or FM booster station; or

(iii) The direct reception by the public of the off-the-air signals of any full-service station or previously authorized secondary station. Interference will be considered to occur whenever reception of a regularly used signal on a third-adjacent channel is impaired by the signals radiated by the LPFM station, regardless of the quality of such reception, the strength of the signal so used, or the channel on which the protected signal is transmitted.

(2) If third-adjacent channel interference cannot be properly eliminated by the application of suitable techniques, operation of the offending LPFM station shall be suspended and shall not be resumed until the interference has been eliminated. Short test transmissions may be made during the period of suspended operation to check the efficacy of remedial measures. If a complainant refuses to permit the licensee of the offending LPFM station to apply remedial techniques which demonstrably will eliminate the third-adjacent channel interference without impairment to the original reception, the licensee is absolved of further responsibility for that complaint.

(3) Upon notice by the Commission to the licensee that such third-adjacent channel interference is being caused, the operation of the LPFM station shall be suspended within three minutes and shall not be resumed until the interference has been eliminated or it can be demonstrated that the interference is not due to spurious emissions by the LPFM station; provided, however, that short test transmissions may be made during the period of suspended operation to check the efficacy of remedial measures.

(b) LPFM stations licensed at locations that satisfy third-adjacent channel minimum distance separations. An LPFM station licensed at a location that satisfies the third-adjacent channel minimum distance separations set forth in §73.807 is subject to the following provisions:

(1) Interference complaints and remediation. (i) Such an LPFM station is required to provide copies of all complaints alleging that its signal is causing third-adjacent channel interference to or impairing the reception of the signal of a full power FM, FM translator or FM booster station to such affected station and to the Commission.

(ii) A full power FM, FM translator or FM booster station shall review all complaints it receives, either directly or indirectly, from listeners regarding alleged third-adjacent channel interference caused by the operations of such an LPFM station. Such full power FM, FM translator or FM booster station shall also identify those that qualify as bona fide complaints under this section and promptly provide such LPFM station with copies of all bona fide complaints. A bona fide complaint:

(A) Must include current contact information for the complainant;

(B) Must state the nature and location of the alleged third-adjacent channel interference and must specify the call signs of the LPFM station and affected full power FM, FM translator or FM booster station, and the type of receiver involved; and

(C) Must be received by either the LPFM station or the affected full power FM, FM translator or FM booster station within one year of the date on which the LPFM station commenced broadcasts with its currently authorized facilities.

(iii) The Commission will accept bona fide complaints and will notify the licensee of the LPFM station allegedly causing third-adjacent channel interference to the signal of a full power FM, FM translator or FM booster station of the existence of the alleged interference within 7 calendar days of the Commission's receipt of such complaint.

(iv) Such an LPFM station will be given a reasonable opportunity to resolve all complaints of third-adjacent channel interference within the protected contour of the affected full power FM, FM translator or FM booster station. A complaint will be considered resolved where the complainant does not reasonably cooperate with an LPFM station's remedial efforts. Such an LPFM station also is encouraged to address all other complaints of third-adjacent channel interference, including complaints based on interference to a full power FM, FM translator or FM booster station by the transmitter site of the LPFM station at any distance from the full power, FM translator or FM booster station.

(v) In the event that the number of unresolved complaints of third-adjacent channel interference within the protected contour of the affected full power FM, FM translator or FM booster station plus the number of complaints for which the source of third-adjacent channel interference remains in dispute equals at least one percent of the households within one kilometer of the LPFM transmitter site or thirty households, whichever is less, the LPFM and affected stations must cooperate in an “on-off” test to determine whether the third-adjacent channel interference is traceable to the LPFM station.

(vi) If the number of unresolved and disputed complaints of third-adjacent channel interference within the protected contour of the affected full power, FM translator or FM booster station exceeds the numeric threshold specified in paragraph (b)(1)(v) of this section following an “on-off” test, the affected station may request that the Commission initiate a proceeding to consider whether the LPFM station license should be modified or cancelled, which will be completed by the Commission within 90 days. Parties may seek extensions of the 90-day deadline consistent with Commission rules.

(vii) An LPFM station may stay any procedures initiated pursuant to paragraph (b)(1)(vi) of this section by voluntarily ceasing operations and filing an application for facility modification within twenty days of the commencement of such procedures.

(2) Periodic announcements. (i) For a period of one year from the date of licensing of a new LPFM station that is constructed on a third-adjacent channel and satisfies the third-adjacent channel minimum distance separations set forth in §73.807, such LPFM station shall broadcast periodic announcements. The announcements shall, at a minimum, alert listeners of the potentially affected third-adjacent channel station of the potential for interference, instruct listeners to contact the LPFM station to report any interference, and provide contact information for the LPFM station. The announcements shall be made in the primary language(s) of both the new LPFM station and the potentially affected third-adjacent channel station(s). Sample announcement language follows:

On (date of license grant), the Federal Communications Commission granted (LPFM station's call letters) a license to operate. (LPFM station's call letters) may cause interference to the operations of (third-adjacent channel station's call letters) and (other third-adjacent channel stations' call letters). If you are normally a listener of (third-adjacent channel station's call letters) or (other third-adjacent channel station's call letters) and are having difficulty receiving (third-adjacent channel station call letters) or (other third-adjacent channel station's call letters), please contact (LPFM station's call letters) by mail at (mailing address) or by telephone at (telephone number) to report this interference.

(ii) During the first thirty days after licensing of a new LPFM station that is constructed on a third-adjacent channel and satisfies the third-adjacent channel minimum distance separations set forth in Section 73.807, the LPFM station must broadcast the announcements specified in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section at least twice daily. The first daily announcement must be made between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., or 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. The LPFM station must vary the time slot in which it airs this announcement. For stations that do not operate at these times, the announcements shall be made during the first two hours of broadcast operations each day. The second daily announcement must be made outside of the 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. time slots. The LPFM station must vary the times of day in which it broadcasts this second daily announcement in order to ensure that the announcements air during all parts of its broadcast day. For stations that do not operate at these times, the announcements shall be made during the first two hours of broadcast operations each day. For the remainder of the one year period, the LPFM station must broadcast the announcements at least twice per week. The announcements must be broadcast between the hours of 7 a.m. and midnight. For stations that do not operate at these times, the announcements shall be made during the first two hours of broadcast operations each day.

(iii) Any new LPFM station that is constructed on a third-adjacent channel and satisfies the minimum distance separations set forth in §73.807 must:

(A) notify the Audio Division, Media Bureau, and all affected stations on third-adjacent channels of an interference complaint. The notification must be made electronically within 48 hours after the receipt of an interference complaint by the LPFM station; and

(B) cooperate in addressing any third-adjacent channel interference.

[78 FR 2104, Jan. 9, 2013, as amended at 85 FR 35573, June 11, 2020]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.811   LPFM power and antenna height requirements.

(a) Maximum facilities. LPFM stations will be authorized to operate with maximum facilities of 100 watts ERP at 30 meters HAAT. An LPFM station with a HAAT that exceeds 30 meters will not be permitted to operate with an ERP greater than that which would result in a 60 dBu contour of 5.6 kilometers. In no event will an ERP less than one watt be authorized. No facility will be authorized in excess of one watt ERP at 450 meters HAAT.

(b) Minimum facilities. LPFM stations may not operate with facilities less than 50 watts ERP at 30 meters HAAT or the equivalent necessary to produce a 60 dBu contour that extends at least 4.7 kilometers.

[78 FR 2105, Jan. 9, 2013]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.812   Rounding of power and antenna heights.

(a) Effective radiated power (ERP) will be rounded to the nearest watt on LPFM authorizations.

(b) Antenna radiation center, antenna height above average terrain (HAAT), and antenna supporting structure height will all be rounded to the nearest meter on LPFM authorizations.

return arrow Back to Top

§73.813   Determination of antenna height above average terrain (HAAT).

HAAT determinations for LPFM stations will be made in accordance with the procedure detailed in §73.313(d) of this part.

return arrow Back to Top

§73.816   Antennas.

(a) Permittees and licensees may employ nondirectional antennas with horizontal only polarization, vertical only polarization, circular polarization or elliptical polarization.

(b) Permittees and licensees may employ directional antennas in the LPFM service, in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.

(c) [Reserved]

(d)(1) Composite antennas and antenna arrays may be used where the total ERP does not exceed the maximum determined in accordance with §73.811(a).

(2) Either horizontal, vertical, circular, or elliptical polarization may be used provided that the supplemental vertically polarized ERP required for circular or elliptical polarization does not exceed the ERP otherwise authorized. Either clockwise or counterclockwise rotation may be used. Separate transmitting antennas are permitted if both horizontal and vertical polarization is to be provided.

(3) An application that specifies the use of a directional antenna must provide the information identified in §73.316(c) except that such information shall not be required of:

(i) Public safety and transportation permittees and licensees eligible pursuant to §73.853(a)(2) using directional antennas in connection with operation of Travelers' Information Service stations;

(ii) LPFM permittees and licensees proposing a waiver of the second-adjacent channel spacing requirements of §73.807 for the sole purpose of justifying such a waiver; and

(iii) LPFM permittees and licensees using directional antennas solely for the purpose of meeting the international border zone distance requirements of §73.807(g).

[65 FR 67303, Nov. 9, 2000, as amended at 78 FR 2106, Jan. 9, 2013; 85 FR 35573, June 11, 2020]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.825   Protection to reception of TV channel 6.

The following spacing requirements will apply to LPFM applications on Channels 201 through 220 unless the application is accompanied by a written agreement between the LPFM applicant and each affected TV Channel 6 broadcast station concurring with the proposed LPFM facilities.

(a) LPFM stations will be authorized on Channels 201 through 220 only if the pertinent minimum separation distances in the following table are met with respect to all full power TV Channel 6 stations.

FM channel numberLPFM to TV
channel 6 (km)
201140
202138
203137
204136
205135
206133
207133
208133
209133
210133
211133
212132
213132
214132
215131
216131
217131
218131
219130
220130

(b) LPFM stations will be authorized on Channels 201 through 220 only if the pertinent minimum separation distances in the following table are met with respect to all low power TV, TV translator, and Class A TV stations authorized on TV Channel 6.

FM channel numberLPFM to TV
channel 6 (km)
20198
20297
20395
20494
20593
20691
20791
20891
20991
21091
21191
21290
21390
21490
21590
21689
21789
21889
21989
22089

[65 FR 67303, Nov. 9, 2000, as amended at 78 FR 2106, Jan. 9, 2013; 85 FR 35573, June 11, 2020]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.827   Interference to the input signals of FM translator or FM booster stations.

(a) Interference to the direct reception of the input signal of an FM translator station. This subsection applies when an LPFM application proposes to operate near an FM translator station, the FM translator station is receiving its input signal off-air (either directly from the primary station or from a translator station) and the LPFM application proposes to operate on a third-adjacent channel to the station delivering an input signal to the translator station. In these circumstances, the LPFM station will not be authorized unless it is located at least 2 km from the FM translator station. In addition, in cases where an LPFM station is located within ±30 degrees of the azimuth between the FM translator station and its input signal, the LPFM station will not be authorized unless it is located at least 10 kilometers from the FM translator station. The provisions of this subsection will not apply if the LPFM applicant:

(1) Demonstrates that no actual interference will occur due to an undesired (LPFM) to desired (station delivering signal to translator station) ratio below 34 dB at such translator station's receive antenna.

(2) Complies with the minimum LPFM/FM translator distance separation calculated in accordance with the following formula: du = 133.5 antilog [(Peu + Gru − Grd − Ed)/20], where du = the minimum allowed separation in km, Peu = LPFM ERP in dBW, Gru = gain (dBd) of the FM translator receive antenna in the direction of the LPFM site, Grd = gain (dBd) of the FM translator receive antenna in the direction of the primary station site, Ed = predicted field strength (dBu) of the primary station at the translator site, or

(3) Reaches an agreement with the licensee of the FM translator regarding an alternative technical solution.

Note to paragraph (a): LPFM applicants may assume that an FM translator station's receive and transmit antennas are collocated.

(b) An authorized LPFM station will not be permitted to continue to operate if an FM translator or FM booster station demonstrates that the LPFM station is causing actual interference to the FM translator or FM booster station's input signal, provided that the same input signal was in use or proposed in an application filed with the Commission prior to the release of the public notice announcing the dates for an LPFM application filing window and has been continuously in use or proposed since that time.

(c) Complaints of actual interference by an LPFM station subject to paragraph (b) of this section must be served on the LPFM licensee and the Federal Communications Commission, Attention: Audio Division, Media Bureau. The LPFM station must suspend operations upon the receipt of such complaint unless the interference has been resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant on the basis of suitable techniques. Short test transmissions may be made during the period of suspended operations to check the efficacy of remedial measures. An LPFM station may only resume full operation at the direction of the Federal Communications Commission. If the Commission determines that the complainant has refused to permit the LPFM station to apply remedial techniques that demonstrably will eliminate the interference without impairment of the original reception, the licensee of the LPFM station is absolved of further responsibility for the complaint.

[78 FR 2106, Jan. 9, 2013, as amended at 78 FR 67317, Nov. 12, 2013]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.840   Operating power and mode tolerances.

The transmitter power output (TPO) of an LPFM station must be determined by the procedures set forth in §73.267 of this part. The operating TPO of an LPFM station with an authorized TPO of more than ten watts must be maintained as near as practicable to its authorized TPO and may not be less than 90% of the minimum TPO nor greater than 105% of the maximum authorized TPO. An LPFM station with an authorized TPO of ten watts or less may operate with less than the authorized power, but not more than 105% of the authorized power.

return arrow Back to Top

§73.845   Transmission system operation.

Each LPFM licensee is responsible for maintaining and operating its broadcast station in a manner that complies with the technical rules set forth elsewhere in this part and in accordance with the terms of the station authorization. In the event that an LPFM station is operating in a manner that is not in compliance with the technical rules set forth elsewhere in this part or the terms of the station authorization, broadcast operation must be terminated within three hours.

return arrow Back to Top

§73.850   Operating schedule.

(a) All LPFM stations will be licensed for unlimited time operation, except those stations operating under a time sharing agreement pursuant to §73.872.

(b) All LPFM stations are required to operate at least 36 hours per week, consisting of at least 5 hours of operation per day on at least 6 days of the week; however, stations licensed to educational institutions are not required to operate on Saturday or Sunday or to observe the minimum operating requirements during those days designated on the official school calendar as vacation or recess periods.

(c) All LPFM stations, including those meeting the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, but which do not operate 12 hours per day each day of the year, will be required to share use of the frequency upon the grant of an appropriate application proposing such share time arrangement. Such applications must set forth the intent to share time and must be filed in the same manner as are applications for new stations. Such applications may be filed at any time after an LPFM station completes its third year of licensed operations. In cases where the licensee and the prospective licensee are unable to agree on time sharing, action on the application will be taken only in connection with a renewal application for the existing station filed on or after June 1, 2019. In order to be considered for this purpose, an application to share time must be filed no later than the deadline for filing petitions to deny the renewal application of the existing licensee.

(1) The licensee and the prospective licensee(s) shall endeavor to reach an agreement for a definite schedule of periods of time to be used by each. Such agreement must be in writing and must set forth which licensee is to operate on each of the hours of the day throughout the year. Such agreement must not include simultaneous operation of the stations. Each licensee must file the same in triplicate with each application to the Commission for initial construction permit or renewal of license. Such written agreements shall become part of the terms of each station's license.

(2) The Commission desires to facilitate the reaching of agreements on time sharing. However, if the licensees of stations authorized to share time are unable to agree on a division of time, the prospective licensee(s) must submit a statement with the Commission to that effect filed with the application(s) proposing time sharing.

(3) After receipt of the type of application(s) described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the Commission will process such application(s) pursuant to §§73.3561 through 73.3568 of this Part. If any such application is not dismissed pursuant to those provisions, the Commission will issue a notice to the parties proposing a time-sharing arrangement and a grant of the time-sharing application(s). The licensee may protest the proposed action, the prospective licensee(s) may oppose the protest and/or the proposed action, and the licensee may reply within the time limits delineated in the notice. All such pleadings must satisfy the requirements of Section 309(d) of the Act. Based on those pleadings and the requirements of Section 309 of the Act, the Commission will then act on the time-sharing application(s) and the licensee's renewal application.

(4) A departure from the regular schedule set forth in a time-sharing agreement will be permitted only in cases where a written agreement to that effect is reduced to writing, is signed by the licensees of the stations affected thereby, and is filed in triplicate by each licensee with the Commission, Attention: Audio Division, Media Bureau, prior to the time of the proposed change. If time is of the essence, the actual departure in operating schedule may precede the actual filing of the written agreement, provided that appropriate notice is sent to the Commission in Washington, DC, Attention: Audio Division, Media Bureau.

(d) In the event that causes beyond the control of a permittee or licensee make it impossible to adhere to the operating schedule in paragraph (b) of this section or to continue operating, the station may limit or discontinue operation for a period not exceeding 30 days without further authority from the Commission provided that notification is sent to the Commission in Washington, DC, Attention: Audio Division, Media Bureau, no later than the 10th day of limited or discontinued operation. During such period, the permittee shall continue to adhere to the requirements of the station license pertaining to lighting of antenna structures. In the event normal operation is restored prior to the expiration of the 30 day period, the permittee or licensee will notify the FCC, Attention: Audio Division, of the date that normal operations resumed. If causes beyond the control of the permittee or licensee make it impossible to comply within the allowed period, Special Temporary Authority (see §73.1635) must be requested to remain silent for such additional time as deemed necessary not to exceed, in total, 12 consecutive months (see §73.873(b)).

[65 FR 7640, Feb. 15, 2000, as amended at 78 FR 2106, Jan. 9, 2013; 85 FR 35573, June 11, 2020]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.853   Licensing requirements and service.

(a) An LPFM station may be licensed only to:

(1) Nonprofit educational organizations and upon a showing that the proposed station will be used for the advancement of an educational program; and

(2) State and local governments and non-government entities that will provide non-commercial public safety radio services.

(3) Tribal Applicants, as defined in paragraph (c) of this section that will provide non-commercial radio services.

(b) Only local organizations will be permitted to submit applications and to hold authorizations in the LPFM service. For the purposes of this paragraph, an organization will be deemed local if it can certify, at the time of application, that it meets the criteria listed below and if it continues to satisfy the criteria at all times thereafter.

(1) The applicant, its local chapter or branch is physically headquartered or has a campus within 16.1 km (10 miles) of the proposed site for the transmitting antenna for applicants in the top 50 urban markets, and 32.1 km (20 miles) for applicants outside of the top 50 urban markets;

(2) It has 75% of its board members residing within 16.1 km (10 miles) of the proposed site for the transmitting antenna for applicants in the top 50 urban markets, and 32.1 km (20 miles) for applicants outside of the top 50 urban markets; or

(3) In the case of any applicant proposing a public safety radio service, the applicant has jurisdiction within the service area of the proposed LPFM station.

(4) In the case of a Tribal Applicant, as defined in paragraph (c) of this section, the Tribal Applicant's Tribal lands, as that term is defined in §73.7000, are within the service area of the proposed LPFM station.

(c) A Tribal Applicant is a Tribe or an entity that is 51 percent or more owned or controlled by a Tribe or Tribes. For these purposes, Tribe is defined as set forth in §73.7000.

[65 FR 7640, Feb. 15, 2000, as amended at 73 FR 3216, Jan. 17, 2008; 78 FR 2107, Jan. 9, 2013]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.854   Unlicensed radio operations.

No application for an LPFM station may be granted unless the applicant certifies, under penalty of perjury, that neither the applicant, nor any party to the application, has engaged in any manner, including individually or with persons, groups, organizations, or other entities, in the unlicensed operation of any station in violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 301. If an application is dismissed pursuant to this section, the applicant is precluded from seeking nunc pro tunc reinstatement of the application and/or changing its directors to resolve the basic qualification issues.

[85 FR 7889, Feb. 12, 2020]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.855   Ownership limits.

(a) No authorization for an LPFM station shall be granted to any party if the grant of that authorization will result in any such party holding an attributable interest in two or more LPFM stations.

(b) Notwithstanding the general prohibition set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, Tribal Applicants, as defined in §73.853(c), may hold an attributable interest in up to two LPFM stations.

(c) Notwithstanding the general prohibition set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, not-for-profit organizations and governmental entities with a public safety purpose may be granted multiple licenses if:

(1) One of the multiple applications is submitted as a priority application; and

(2) The remaining non-priority applications do not face a mutually exclusive challenge.

[78 FR 2107, Jan. 9, 2013]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.858   Attribution of LPFM station interests.

Ownership and other interests in LPFM station permittees and licensees will be attributed to their holders and deemed cognizable for the purposes of §§73.855 and 73.860, in accordance with the provisions of §73.3555, subject to the following exceptions:

(a) A director of an entity that holds an LPFM license will not have such interest treated as attributable if such director also holds an attributable interest in a broadcast licensee or other media entity but recuses himself or herself from any matters affecting the LPFM station.

(b) A local chapter of a national or other large organization shall not have the attributable interests of the national organization attributed to it provided that the local chapter is separately incorporated and has a distinct local presence and mission.

(c) A parent or subsidiary of a LPFM licensee or permittee that is a non-stock corporation will be treated as having an attributable interest in such corporation. The officers, directors, and members of a non-stock corporation's governing body and of any parent or subsidiary entity will have such positional interests attributed to them.

return arrow Back to Top

§73.860   Cross-ownership.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of this section, no license shall be granted to any party if the grant of such authorization will result in the same party holding an attributable interest in any other non-LPFM broadcast station, including any FM translator or low power television station, or any other media subject to our broadcast ownership restrictions.

(b) A party that is not a Tribal Applicant, as defined in §73.853(c), may hold attributable interests in one LPFM station and no more than two FM translator stations, two FM booster stations, or one FM translator station and one FM booster station provided that the following requirements are met:

(1) The 60 dBu contour of the LPFM station overlaps the 60 dBu contour of the commonly-owned FM translator station(s) and entirely encompasses the 60 dBu service contour of the FM booster station(s);

(2) The FM translator and/or booster station(s), at all times, synchronously rebroadcasts the primary analog signal of the commonly-owned LPFM station or, if the commonly-owned LPFM station operates in hybrid mode, synchronously rebroadcasts the digital HD-1 version of the LPFM station's signal;

(3) The FM translator station receives the signal of the commonly-owned LPFM station over-the-air and directly from the commonly-owned LPFM station itself. The FM booster station receives the signal of the commonly-owned LPFM station by any means authorized in §74.1231(i) of this chapter; and

(4) The transmitting antenna of the FM translator and/or booster station(s) is located within 16.1 kilometers (10 miles) for LPFM stations located in the top 50 urban markets and 32.1 kilometers (20 miles) for LPFM stations outside the top 50 urban markets of either the transmitter site of the commonly-owned LPFM station or the reference coordinates for that station's community of license.

(c) A party that is a Tribal Applicant, as defined in §73.853(c), may hold attributable interests in no more than two LPFM stations and four FM translator stations provided that the requirements set forth in paragraph (b) of this section are met.

(d) Unless such interest is permissible under paragraphs (b) or (c) of this section, a party with an attributable interest in a broadcast radio station must divest such interest prior to the commencement of operations of an LPFM station in which the party also holds an interest. However, a party need not divest such an attributable interest if the party is a college or university that can certify that the existing broadcast radio station is not student run. This exception applies only to parties that:

(1) Are accredited educational institutions;

(2) Own an attributable interest in non-student run broadcast stations; and

(3) Apply for an authorization for an LPFM station that will be managed and operated on a day-to-day basis by students of the accredited educational institution.

(e) No LPFM licensee may enter into an operating agreement of any type, including a time brokerage or management agreement, with either a full power broadcast station or another LPFM station.

[78 FR 2107, Jan. 9, 2013, as amended at 85 FR 35573, June 11, 2020]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.865   Assignment and transfer of LPFM permits and licenses.

(a) Assignment/transfer. No party may assign or transfer an LPFM permit or license if:

(1) Consideration promised or received exceeds the legitimate and prudent expenses of the assignor or transferor. For purposes of this section, legitimate and prudent expenses are those expenses reasonably incurred by the assignor or transferor in obtaining and constructing the station (e.g., expenses in preparing an application, in obtaining and installing broadcast equipment to be assigned or transferred, etc.). Costs incurred in operating the station are not recoverable (e.g., rent, salaries, utilities, music licensing fees, etc.);

(2) The assignee or transferee is incapable of satisfying all eligibility criteria that apply to a LPFM licensee; or

(3) For a period of time commencing with the grant of any construction permit awarded based on the comparative point system, §73.872, and continuing until the station has achieved at least four years of on-air operations:

(i)(A) The assignee or transferee cannot meet or exceed the points awarded to the initial applicant; or

(B) Where the original LPFM construction permit was issued based on a point system tie-breaker, the assignee or transferee does not have a “locally established date,” as defined in §73.853(b), that is the same as, or earlier than, the date of the most recently established local applicant in the tied mutually exclusive (MX) group.

(ii) Any successive applicants proposing to assign or transfer the construction permit or license prior to the end of the aforementioned period will be required to make the same demonstrations. This restriction does not apply to construction permits that are awarded to non-mutually exclusive applicants or through settlement.

(b) Name change. A change in the name of an LPFM permittee or licensee where no change in ownership or control is involved may be accomplished by written notification by the permittee or licensee to the Commission.

(c) Holding period. A construction permit cannot be assigned or transferred for 18 months from the date of issue.

(d) Board changes. Notwithstanding the other provisions in this section, transfers of control involving a sudden or gradual change of more than 50 percent of an LPFM's governing board are not prohibited, provided that the mission of the entity remains the same and the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section are satisfied. Sudden majority board changes shall be submitted as a pro forma ownership change within 30 days of the change or final event that caused the LPFM permittee or licensee to exceed the 50 percent threshold.

[85 FR 7889, Feb. 12, 2020]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.870   Processing of LPFM broadcast station applications.

(a) A minor change for an LPFM station authorized under this subpart is limited to transmitter site relocations not exceeding 11.2 kilometers or where the 60 dBu contour of the authorized facility overlaps the 60 dBu contour of the proposed facility. These distance limitations do not apply to amendments or applications proposing transmitter site relocation to a common location filed by applicants that are parties to a voluntary time-sharing agreement with regard to their stations pursuant to §73.872(c) and (e). These distance limitations also do not apply to an amendment or application proposing transmitter site relocation to a common location or a location very close to another station operating on a third-adjacent channel in order to remediate interference to the other station; provided, however, that the proposed relocation is consistent with all localism certifications made by the applicant in its original application for the LPFM station. Minor changes of LPFM stations may include:

(1) Changes in frequency to adjacent or IF frequencies (± 1, 2, 3, 53 or 54 channels) or, upon a technical showing of reduced interference, to any frequency; and

(2) Amendments to time-sharing agreements, including universal agreements that supersede involuntary arrangements.

(b) The Commission will specify by Public Notice a window filing period for applications for new LPFM stations and major modifications in the facilities of authorized LPFM stations. LPFM applications for new facilities and for major modifications in authorized LPFM stations will be accepted only during the appropriate window. Applications submitted prior to the window opening date identified in the Public Notice will be returned as premature. Applications submitted after the deadline will be dismissed with prejudice as untimely.

(c) Applications subject to paragraph (b) of this section that fail to meet the §73.807 minimum distance separations with respect to all applications and facilities in existence as the date of the pertinent public notice in paragraph (b) of this section other than to LPFM station facilities proposed in applications filed in the same window, will be dismissed without any opportunity to amend such applications.

(d) Following the close of the window, the Commission will issue a Public Notice of acceptance for filing of applications submitted pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section that meet technical and legal requirements and that are not in conflict with any other application filed during the window. Following the close of the window, the Commission also will issue a Public Notice of the acceptance for filing of all applications tentatively selected pursuant to the procedures for mutually exclusive LPFM applications set forth at §73.872. Petitions to deny such applications may be filed within 30 days of such public notice and in accordance with the procedures set forth at §73.3584. A copy of any petition to deny must be served on the applicant.

(e) Minor change LPFM applications may be filed at any time, unless restricted by the staff, and generally, will be processed in the order in which they are tendered. Such applications must meet all technical and legal requirements applicable to new LPFM station applications.

(f) New entrants seeking to apply for unused or unwanted time on a time-sharing frequency will only be accepted during an open filing window, specified pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section.

[65 FR 7640, Feb. 15, 2000, as amended at 65 FR 67304, Nov. 9, 2000; 70 FR 39186, July 7, 2005; 73 FR 3217, Jan. 17, 2008; 78 FR 2108, Jan. 9, 2013; 85 FR 35574, June 11, 2020]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.871   Amendment of LPFM broadcast station applications.

(a) New and major change applications may be amended without limitation during the pertinent filing window.

(b) Amendments that would improve the comparative position of new and major change applications will not be accepted after the close of the pertinent filing window.

(c) Only minor amendments to new and major change applications will be accepted after the close of the pertinent filing window. Subject to the provisions of this section, such amendments may be filed as a matter of right by the date specified in the FCC's Public Notice announcing the acceptance of such applications. For the purposes of this section, minor amendments are limited to:

(1) Site relocations of 11.2 kilometers or less;

(2) Site relocations that involve overlap between the 60 dBu service contours of the currently authorized and proposed facilities;

(3) Changes in ownership where the original party or parties to an application either:

(i) Retain more than a 50 percent ownership interest in the application as originally filed;

(ii) Retain an ownership interest of 50 percent or less as the result of governing board changes in a nonstock or membership applicant that occur over a period of six months or more; or

(iii) Retain an ownership interest of 50 percent or less as the result of governing board changes in a nonstock or membership applicant that occur over a period of less than six months and there is no evidence of a takeover concern or a significant effect on such organization's mission. All changes in a governmental applicant are considered minor;

(4) Universal voluntary time-sharing agreements to apportion vacant time among the licensees;

(5) Other changes in general and/or legal information;

(6) Filings proposing transmitter site relocation to a common location submitted by applications that are parties to a voluntary time-sharing agreement with regard to their stations pursuant to §73.872 (c) and (e); and

(7) Filings proposing transmitter site relocation to a common location or a location very close to another station operating on a third-adjacent channel in order to remediate interference to the other station.

(d) Unauthorized or untimely amendments are subject to return by the FCC's staff without consideration.

[66 FR 23863, May 10, 2001, as amended at 70 FR 39186, July 7, 2005; 73 FR 3217, Jan. 17, 2008; 78 FR 2108, Jan. 9, 2013; 85 FR 7889, Feb. 12, 2020; 85 FR 35574, June 11, 2020]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.872   Selection procedure for mutually exclusive LPFM applications.

(a) Following the close of each window for new LPFM stations and for modifications in the facilities of authorized LPFM stations, the Commission will issue a public notice identifying all groups of mutually exclusive applications. Such applications will be awarded points to determine the tentative selectee. Unless resolved by settlement pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section, the tentative selectee will be the applicant within each group with the highest point total under the procedure set forth in this section, except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section .

(b) Each mutually exclusive application will be awarded one point for each of the following criteria, based on certifications that the qualifying conditions are met and submission of any required documentation:

(1) Established community presence. An applicant must, for a period of at least two years prior to application and at all times thereafter, have qualified as local pursuant to §73.853(b). Applicants claiming a point for this criterion must submit any documentation specified in FCC Form 318 at the time of filing their applications.

(2) Local program origination. The applicant must pledge to originate locally at least eight hours of programming per day. For purposes of this criterion, local origination is the production of programming by the licensee, within ten miles of the coordinates of the proposed transmitting antenna. Local origination includes licensee produced call-in shows, music selected and played by a disc jockey present on site, broadcasts of events at local schools, and broadcasts of musical performances at a local studio or festival, whether recorded or live. Local origination does not include the broadcast of repetitive or automated programs or time-shifted recordings of non-local programming whatever its source. In addition, local origination does not include a local program that has been broadcast twice, even if the licensee broadcasts the program on a different day or makes small variations in the program thereafter.

(3) Main studio. The applicant must pledge to maintain a publicly accessible main studio that has local program origination capability, is reachable by telephone, is staffed at least 20 hours per week between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., and is located within 16.1 km (10 miles) of the proposed site for the transmitting antenna for applicants in the top 50 urban markets and 32.1 km (20 miles) for applicants outside the top 50 urban markets. Applicants claiming a point under this criterion must specify the proposed address and telephone number for the proposed main studio in FCC Form 318 at the time of filing their applications.

(4) Local program origination and main studio. The applicant must make both the local program origination and main studio pledges set forth in paragraphs (b)(2) and (3) of this section.

(5) Diversity of ownership. An applicant must hold no attributable interests in any other broadcast station.

(6) Tribal Applicants serving Tribal Lands. The applicant must be a Tribal Applicant, as defined in §73.853(c), and the proposed site for the transmitting antenna must be located on that Tribal Applicant's “Tribal Lands,” as defined in §73.7000. Applicants claiming a point for this criterion must submit the documentation set forth in FCC Form 318 at the time of filing their applications.

(c) Voluntary time-sharing. If mutually exclusive applications have the same point total, no more than three of the tied applicants may propose to share use of the frequency by electronically submitting, within 90 days of the release of a public notice announcing the tie, a time-share proposal. Such proposals shall be treated as minor amendments to the time-share proponents' applications and shall become part of the terms of the station authorization. Where such proposals include all of the tied applications, all of the tied applications will be treated as tentative selectees; otherwise, time-share proponents' points will be aggregated. Applicants may agree, at any time before the Media Bureau implements the involuntary time-share procedures pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section, to aggregate their points to enter into a time-share agreement. Applicants can only aggregate their points and submit a time-share agreement if each is designated a tentative selectee in the same mutually exclusive group, and if each applicant has the basic qualifications to receive a grant of its application.

(1) Time-share proposals shall be in writing and signed by each time-share proponent, and shall satisfy the following requirements:

(i) The proposal must specify the proposed hours of operation of each time-share proponent;

(ii) The proposal must not include simultaneous operation of the time-share proponents; and

(iii) Each time-share proponent must propose to operate for at least 10 hours per week.

(2) Where a station is authorized pursuant to a time-sharing proposal, a change of the regular schedule set forth therein will be permitted only where a written agreement signed by each time-sharing permittee or licensee and complying with requirements in paragraphs (c)(1)(i) through (iii) of this section is filed with the Commission, Attention: Audio Division, Media Bureau, prior to the date of the change.

(3) Where a station is authorized pursuant to a voluntary time-sharing proposal, the parties to the time-sharing agreement may apportion among themselves any air time that, for any reason, becomes vacant.

(4) Concurrent license terms granted under paragraph (d) of this section may be converted into voluntary time-sharing arrangements renewable pursuant to §73.3539 by submitting a universal time-sharing proposal.

(5) In the event a tentatively accepted time-share agreement is dismissed, the Commission staff will release another public notice, initiating a second 90-day period for all remaining tentative selectees within the affected MX group to enter into either a voluntary time-share arrangement or a universal settlement in accordance with paragraph (c) or (e) of this section. If the tie is not resolved in accordance with paragraph (c) or (e) of this section, the tied applications will be reviewed for acceptability, and applicants with tied, grantable applications will be eligible for involuntary time-sharing in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.

(d) Involuntary time-sharing. (1) If a tie among mutually exclusive applications is not resolved through voluntary time-sharing in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section, the tied applications will be reviewed for acceptability. Applicants with tied, grantable applications will be eligible for equal, concurrent, non-renewable license terms.

(2) If a mutually exclusive group has three or fewer tied, grantable applications, the Commission will simultaneously grant these applications, assigning an equal number of hours per week to each applicant. The Commission will determine the hours assigned to each applicant by first assigning hours to the applicant that has been local, as defined in §73.853(b), for the longest uninterrupted period of time, then assigning hours to the applicant that has been local for the next longest uninterrupted period of time, and finally assigning hours to any remaining applicant. The Commission will offer applicants an opportunity to voluntarily reach a time-sharing agreement. In the event that applicants cannot reach such agreement, the Commission will require each applicant subject to involuntary time-sharing to simultaneously and confidentially submit their preferred time slots to the Commission. If there are only two tied, grantable applications, the applicants must select between the following 12-hour time slots 3 a.m.-2:59 p.m., or 3 p.m.-2:59 a.m. If there are three tied, grantable applications, each applicant must rank their preference for the following 8-hour time slots: 2 a.m.-9:59 a.m., 10 a.m.-5:59 p.m., and 6 p.m.-1:59 a.m. The Commission will require the applicants to certify that they did not collude with any other applicants in the selection of time slots. The Commission will give preference to the applicant that has been local for the longest uninterrupted period of time. The Commission will award time in units as small as four hours per day. In the event an applicant neglects to designate its preferred time slots, staff will select a time slot for that applicant.

(3) Groups of more than three tied, grantable applications will not be eligible for licensing under this section. Where such groups exist, the Commission will dismiss all but the applications of the three applicants that have been local, as defined in §73.853(b), for the longest uninterrupted periods of time. The Commission then will process the remaining applications as set forth in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

(4) If concurrent license terms granted under this section are converted into universal voluntary time-sharing arrangements pursuant to paragraph (c)(4) of this section, the permit or license is renewable pursuant to §§73.801 and 73.3539.

(e) Settlements. Mutually exclusive applicants may propose a settlement at any time during the selection process after the release of a public notice announcing the mutually exclusive groups. Settlement proposals must comply with the Commission's rules and policies regarding settlements, including the requirements of §§73.3525, 73.3588 and 73.3589. Settlement proposals may include time-share agreements that comply with the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section, provided that such agreements may not be filed for the purpose of point aggregation outside of the 90 day period set forth in paragraph (c) of this section.

[65 FR 7640, Feb. 15, 2000, as amended at 65 FR 67304, Nov. 9, 2000; 67 FR 13232, Mar. 21, 2002; 73 FR 3217, Jan. 17, 2008; 78 FR 2108, Jan. 9, 2013; 85 FR 7889, Feb. 12, 2020]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.873   LPFM license period.

(a) Initial licenses for LPFM stations will be issued for a period running until the date specified in §73.1020 for full service stations operating in the LPFM station's state or territory, or if issued after such date, determined in accordance with §73.1020.

(b) The license of an LPFM station that fails to transmit broadcast signals for any consecutive 12-month period expires as a matter of law at the end of that period, notwithstanding any provision, term, or condition of the license to the contrary.

[78 FR 2109, Jan. 9, 2013]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.875   Modification of transmission systems.

The following procedures and restrictions apply to licensee modifications of authorized broadcast transmission system facilities.

(a) The following changes are prohibited:

(1) Those that would result in the emission of signals outside of the authorized channel exceeding limits prescribed for the class of service.

(2) Those that would cause the transmission system to exceed the equipment performance measurements prescribed in §73.508.

(b) The following changes may be made only after the grant of a construction permit application on FCC Form 318.

(1) Any construction of a new tower structure for broadcast purposes, except for replacement of an existing tower with a new tower of identical height and geographic coordinates.

(2) Any change in station geographic coordinates, including coordinate corrections and any move of the antenna to another tower structure located at the same coordinates.

(3) Any change in antenna height more than 2 meters above or 4 meters below the authorized value.

(4) Any change in channel.

(c) The following LPFM modifications may be made without prior authorization from the Commission. A modification of license application (FCC Form 319) must be submitted to the Commission within 10 days of commencing program test operations pursuant to §73.1620. For applications filed pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the modification of license application must contain an exhibit demonstrating compliance with the Commission's radiofrequency radiation guidelines. In addition, for applications filed solely pursuant to paragraphs (c)(1) or (2) of this section, where the installation is on or near an AM tower, as defined in §1.30002, an exhibit demonstrating compliance with §1.30003 or §1.30002, as applicable, is also required.

(1) Replacement of an antenna with one of the same or different number of antenna bays, provided that the height of the antenna radiation center is not more than 2 meters above or 4 meters below the authorized values. Program test operations at the full authorized ERP may commence immediately upon installation pursuant to §73.1620(a)(1).

(2) Replacement of a transmission line with one of a different type or length which changes the transmitter operating power (TPO) from the authorized value, but not the ERP, must be reported in a license modification application to the Commission.

(3) Changes in the hours of operation of stations authorized pursuant to time-share agreements in accordance with §73.872.

[65 FR 7640, Feb. 15, 2000, as amended at 78 FR 66298, Nov. 5, 2013]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.877   Station logs for LPFM stations.

The licensee of each LPFM station must maintain a station log. Each log entry must include the time and date of observation and the name of the person making the entry. The following information must be entered in the station log:

(a) Any extinguishment or malfunction of the antenna structure obstruction lighting, adjustments, repairs, or replacement to the lighting system, or related notification to the FAA. See §§17.48 and 73.49 of this chapter.

(b) Brief explanation of station outages due to equipment malfunction, servicing, or replacement;

(c) Operations not in accordance with the station license; and

(d) EAS weekly log requirements set forth in §11.61(a)(1)(v) of this chapter.

[65 FR 67304, Nov. 9, 2000]

return arrow Back to Top

§73.878   Station inspections by FCC; availability to FCC of station logs and records.

(a) The licensee of a broadcast station shall make the station available for inspection by representatives of the FCC during the station's business hours, and at any time it is in operation. In the course of an inspection or investigation, an FCC representative may require special equipment or program tests.

(b) Station records and logs shall be made available for inspection or duplication at the request of the FCC or its representatives. Such logs or records may be removed from the licensee's possession by an FCC representative or, upon request, shall be mailed by the licensee to the FCC by either registered mail, return receipt requested, or certified mail, return receipt requested. The return receipt shall be retained by the licensee as part of the station records until such records or logs are returned to the licensee. A receipt shall be furnished when the logs or records are removed from the licensee's possession by an FCC representative and this receipt shall be retained by the licensee as part of the station records until such records or logs are returned to the licensee. When the FCC has no further need for such records or logs, they shall be returned to the licensee. The provisions of this rule shall apply solely to those station logs and records that are required to be maintained by the provisions of this part.

(1) Where records or logs are maintained as the official records of a recognized law enforcement agency and the removal of the records from the possession of the law enforcement agency will hinder its law enforcement activities, such records will not be removed pursuant to this section if the chief of the law enforcement agency promptly certifies in writing to the FCC that removal of the logs or records will hinder law enforcement activities of the agency, stating insofar as feasible the basis for his decision and the date when it can reasonably be expected that such records will be released to the FCC.

return arrow Back to Top

§73.879   Signal retransmission.

An LPFM licensee may not retransmit, either terrestrially or via satellite, the signal of a full-power radio broadcast station.

return arrow Back to Top

§73.881   Equal employment opportunities.

General EEO policy. Equal employment opportunity shall be afforded by all LPFM licensees and permittees to all qualified persons, and no person shall be discriminated against because of race, color , religion, national origin, or sex.

return arrow Back to Top

Need assistance?