LPFM radio in USA took a hurdle
What little opposition there was to the LPFM legislation, HR 1147, fell on deaf ears in the House Communications Subcommittee earlier this month. Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) briefly repeated his concerns about interference, but otherwise there was nothing but praise for the measure to repeal the legislation which required the FCC to protect full-power broadcasters from interference from LPFM stations being placed on third-adjacent channels.
Member after member hailed the LPFMs already on the air for the localism and service to their communities in times of emergency. They clearly want the FCC to get more of them on the air as soon as possible.
.Even though it.s low power, it.s highly empowering to these community groups,. declared Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), one of the principal sponsors of the bill.
.I am really delighted to see this bill make it through a key milestone on its way to becoming law,. said Cheryl A. Leanza, Policy Advisor to the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB). .Our legislative champions, Congressman Mike Doyle [D-PA] and Lee Terry have been indefatigable in their support for this important media justice issue. The support of Congressman Boucher and his staff in giving this issue his time and attention in a Congress with such a crowded schedule has been critical to assist the thousands of community groups waiting for low power radio stations around the country,. she said as the pro-LPFM group applauded the legislative milestone.
House Committee unanimously backs community radio bill
With a unanimous voice vote, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the Local Community Radio Act this morning. By repealing restrictions that drastically limit channels available to low power FM (LPFM) stations, the Act will allow hundreds of community groups nationwide to access the public airwaves.
The popular, bipartisan legislation is on the fast track to becoming law. Shortly after all five FCC Commissioners reaffirmed the FCC.s longstanding support, the bill passed out of the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet by a voice vote. After today.s passage out of committee, the Local Community Radio Act heads for a floor vote in the House.
In his opening remarks today, Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) urged his colleagues to support the bill.
.As a longtime advocate of expanding low power FM radio services and the dynamic contribution they make to localism, a bedrock of our communications laws, I am pleased that the Committee is acting on this important bipartisan measure. Low power FM stations provide diverse, locally-originated programming that serves the needs of the community,. said Rep. Waxman.
Lead co-sponsor Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) noted that earlier concerns about potential interference with full power stations have been addressed.
.We are proud to have the support of many incumbent broadcasters for our legislation,. said Rep. Doyle. .We made changes during the subcommittee's consideration of the bill to resolve concerns from other incumbent broadcasters, and we are especially pleased that National Public Radio expressed their appreciation of these changes..
The bill has recently gained the support of its former skeptics in Congress, including Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), the only former broadcaster on the committee. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), a lead co-sponsor of the bill that originally restricted low power radio in 2000, also now supports the legislation.
Hundreds of groups across the country are organizing for the opportunity to have their own radio stations. One of the most active among these is the Chicago Independent Radio Project (CHIRP).
.Our goal is to provide Chicago with a showcase for the city's diverse music and arts scenes and to cover local news stories too often overlooked by bigger media outlets,. said Shawn Campbell, President of CHIRP. .Our 140 volunteers are true believers in radio that is live, local, and truly connected to community. We are ready to start broadcasting original content around the clock as soon we are given the chance..
Advocates say that today.s vote is a call to action for supporters of local media.
.We are sounding the alarm,. said Cory Fischer-Hoffman, Campaign Director at the Prometheus Radio Project. .Passage out of full committee signals that Congress is finally ready to act on local community radio. Now is the time for everyone who wants a voice in their community to urge their Congressional Representatives to support HR 1147..
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 15, 2009
WASHINGTON -- The House Committee on Energy and Commerce voted unanimously on Thursday to pass the Local Community Radio Act (HR 1147). The legislation, introduced by Reps. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) and Lee Terry (R-Neb.), would open the public airwaves to hundreds of new Low Power FM radio stations in communities across the country. The bill has strong bipartisan support and more than 80 co-sponsors in the House. The bill now moves to the full House.
Craig Aaron, senior program director of Free Press, made the following statement:
"Today.s vote is a major victory for radio listeners looking for local voices on the air, a testament to the power of bipartisan cooperation, and a tribute to the tireless advocacy of groups like the Prometheus Radio Project and its allies. Low Power FM stations will put community news, independent music and fresh perspectives back on the radio dial. Today.s vote is the furthest this bill has gotten in the House -- and the finish line is finally in sight. We commend Chairman Waxman and Reps. Doyle and Terry for their leadership on this issue and their unwavering support for LPFM. The full Congress should move as quickly as possible to pass this important and long overdue legislation.