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LPFM News: Nearly 2000 stations approved, “Katrina Radio” expands

#LPFM Watch

The total number of approved lower-power FM applications inches towards 2000, with a total of 1190 issued to date. We’re still waiting for the FCC to address most of the MX groups of applicants competing for frequencies, especially in the nation’s largest urban markets.

One new construction permit issued this week goes to the Hancock County Amateur Radio Association on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, which already operates WQRZ-LP “Katrina Radio” in Bay St. Louis. However, unlike most low-power stations, this is “public safety radio service,” intended to keep the public informed during times of emergency. The new station is destined for Diamond Head, MS.

As the “Katrina Radio” moniker suggests, WQRZ played an important role when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005. It was one of just four radio stations to survive the hurricane, broadcasting vital emergency communications to the region west of New Orleans.

Based upon WQRZ’s admirable record, the Hancock County Emergency Management Agency advocated on behalf of the new application, telling the FCC that it “fully supports and welcomes” the station, in order to increase “the Service Area Coverage for the Safety of Life, Health and Property [sic].”

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