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One step closer for Low Power FM

Congressmembers Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Lee Terry (R-NE) are happy guys today because the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet has approved their Local Community Radio Act (H.R. 1147). The bill would make it much easier to set up Low Power FM radio stations in the United States.

Doyle and Terry’s proposed law repeals requirements that LPFMs in a given market stay four channels away from full power stations. That provision, forced on the Federal Communications Commission by a National Association of Broadcasters backed bill in 2000, dramatically reduced the number of LPFMs that the FCC could license, especially in urban areas.

This legislation still has a long way go, including passage by the full House and the enactment of an identical bill in the Senate backed by Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and John McCain (R-AZ). But: “I am optimistic that by the end of the year the Local Community Radio Act will be signed into law,” Doyle declared in a press release his staff sent us. “Until then, I will continue to work towards that goal. There are no good reasons for keeping so many community groups off the public airwaves.”

It’s sort of amazing that Doyle and Terry are together on this. They’re pretty far afield on most everything else. Here’s Terry on Fox TV talking about how much he dislikes Bruce Springsteen, Green Day, and, of course, the Obama administration’s health care plan. Anyway, at least he likes Low Power FM.

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