NAB responds to FCC LPFM announcement

Dec 14, 2007 5:31 am
From Friday Morning Quarteback:
The National Association of Broadcasters has responded to the FCC's announcement of a number of rules and policies relating to Low Power FM (LPFM), which took place late Tuesday. NAB EVP Dennis Wharton said in a statement, "We look forward to reviewing the final text of the Commission's action, which will provide broadcasters with a better understanding of the rules going forward. However, in general, NAB is pleased the Commission clarified that LPFM stations must indeed be locally-owned with locally-originated programming, and limits ownership to one station per licensee."

In reference to the FCC considering giving LPFM stations "enhanced stature," Wharton said, "We share the concerns expressed by Commissioners Tate and McDowell about the Commission's decision to adopt interim processing guidelines without full notice and opportunity for comment, but we look forward to working with the Commission to find a solution that works for all."

And speaking about the recommendation by the FCC to Congress to eliminate third adjacent channel protections, Wharton said, "Though this is a recommendation identical to one made several years ago by the FCC, NAB continues to believe that statutory third-adjacent channel protections are critically important to protect listeners against interference. The idea that hundreds, if not thousands, of
additional LPFM stations can be shoe-horned into an overcrowded radio dial without causing considerable interference simply defies the laws of physics."

Of course, that last quote is ridiculous. When LPFM was first approved, the NAB made a fake CD for Congress of what they said that interference would sound like if LPFM stations were allowed on third-adjacent frequencies. Congress bought their nonsense, but mandated a study to see if the interference existed. The eventual MITRE study proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that tiny LPFM stations would not interfere with giant full-power stations (but you didn't need a study to figure that out, did you?). The third part of the MITRE study was to find out the cost of this suppossed interference. They said, in effect, we can't study the cost of nothing, because we have found no interference. "Our principal finding is that LPFM stations can safely operate three channels away from existing FPFM [full-power] stations," the MITRE study said.
--Tom Roe