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LPFM bill passes U.S. Senate

Dec 18, 2010 9:58 pm
From Radio Ink:
The Senate on Saturday passed the Local Community Radio Act. That followed the passage of the bill in the House on Friday, and the bill will now go to President Obama for his signature, opening the way for potentially thousands more low-power FM stations. The [National Association of Broadcasters] NAB, which had been opposing the bill over interference and other concerns, wrote to the House sponsors of the bill, Reps. Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Lee Terry (R-NE) on Friday, offering support for a revised version of the bill that addressed the organization's concerns, and supporting passage in the Senate as well. The Prometheus Radio Project, which held a protest earlier this week outside NAB headquarters urging the organization to drop its opposition, was delighted by the bill's passage, though it said the amendments "will require some further work at the FCC." The group's Pete Tridish said, "A town without a community radio station is like a town without a library. Many a small town dreamer -- starting with a few friends and bake sale cash -- has successfully launched a low-power station, and built these tiny channels into vibrant town institutions that spotlight school board elections, breathe life into the local music scene, allow people to communicate in their native languages, and give youth an outlet to speak." The FCC created the low-power FM service in 2000, and there are several hundred LPFMs now on the air, all noncommercial.