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LPFM News: FL Church Beats Pirate Radio Accusation to Win LPFM

The FCC’s Media Bureau continues to work on the remaining MX groups of applicants competing for a single frequency. Most of the nine construction permits for new low-power FM stations issued in the last week were from such groups. The total number of LPFM construction permits issued from the 2013 application window now stands at 1855.

In one case an applicant in Merritt Island, FL was accused of operating a pirate station in informal objections filed by a competing applicant. The objection alleged that East Coast Christian Center broadcast Christmas music on an FM signal that could be received outside the group’s church premises during the last three holiday seasons. In a filing to the FCC East Coast confirmed the broadcast–intended to accompany a Christmas lights display in the church’s parking lot–but also contended that they used a “micropower-transmitting device (that) was permitted for unlicensed operation.”

The FCC found that the objections failed to provide any proof of illegal unlicensed operation and that “the accounts of transmissions being heard outside of the East Coast property are hearsay.” The commission concluded that “it is apparent that East Coast was broadcasting its Christmas music pursuant to Part 15 of the Commission’s Rules which permits certain unlicensed broadcasting.”

These are the other construction permits that were approved for applicants in MX groups due to changes that allowed them to avoid sharing a frequency:

  • The Terrell Independent School District in Texas was granted CP at 95.5 FM because Believers International Broadcast moved out of its MX group to 105.7 FM.
  • Stop in Tucson, AZ received 93.3 because two applicants moved out of its MX group, and one was dismissed.
  • North Austin Community Media in Texas moved out of an MX group, which now has a two-party time-share at 94.3, to 94.1 FM.
  • Total Life Community Education Foundation in Tontitown, AR moved out of an MX group at 98.9 FM to gain a CP at 107.3 FM.
  • New Wine Church International Ministries in Pasadena, TX moved out of an MX group at 96.1 FM to 99.5 FM.

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