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Official FCC Blog

August, 2013

Accessibility and Innovation Initiative Speaker Series

by Susan Fisenne, Outreach Specialist, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Consumer Affairs and Outreach Division
August 26, 2013 - 03:39 PM

Those of us working at the FCC strongly believe that the power of technology should benefit and be available to all Americans, including those with disabilities.  Communications technology is empowering to all, but for people with disabilities, it is especially promising.  It can enable someone to telecommute or run a business out of their home; shop online; get involved in their community; receive remote healthcare; take online classes; stay connected with friends and family.  The list goes on and on, but all of these opportunities would be lost if people with disabilities do not have access to the Web.

Dr. Yevgen Borodin and the company he co-founded, Charmtech Labs LLC, are driven by the social cause of making the Web universally accessible for all.  And for that reason, the FCC’s Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau is honored to have Dr. Borodin as the guest presenter at the Accessibility & Innovation Initiative Speaker Series scheduled for September 14, 2013, from 10 am to 12 noon in the Commission Meeting Room.  The Accessibility & Innovation Initiative launched its speaker series earlier this summer to raise awareness and encourage innovation in accessible communications technologies that will benefit people with disabilities. 

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Adding Local Voices to the Radio Airwaves

by Bill Lake, Chief, Media Bureau
August 12, 2013 - 10:58 AM

The FCC recently announced that it will accept LPFM license applications between October 15, 2013 and October 29, 2013.  I am extremely excited about the new opportunities presented by the window, which is the result of the Local Community Radio Act of 2010 and the work of the Commission to implement that legislation. 

As Acting FCC Chairwoman Clyburn recently said: “Local groups across the country will have a unique opportunity in October to apply for a license to provide LPFM radio broadcast services to their communities.”

The LPFM service was initially established in 2000 to create opportunities for new voices to be heard on the radio.  The FCC envisioned LPFM stations would serve very localized communities of underrepresented groups within those communities.  An LPFM station can be authorized to operate with up to 100 watts and will typically have a service radius of approximately three and one-half miles.  LPFM stations are available to local, nonprofit educational entities, Tribes, and public safety organizations, but are not available to individuals or for commercial operations.  LPFM stations are authorized for noncommercial educational broadcasting only, and LPFM licenses generally cannot own or have an interest in any other broadcast stations.

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FCC Supports National Council of La Raza at Annual Conference Rise As One

by Keyla Hernandez-Ulloa, Associate Chief, Consumer Affairs and Outreach Division
August 1, 2013 - 02:42 PM

In late July, I had the privilege of representing the FCC at the annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference.  NCLR is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.

True to its theme, Rise As One, the 2013 conference’s workshops and presentations emphasized the importance of collaboration among all communities across the nation to find viable solutions to the similar challenges we face.

This year’s conference addressed issues of great interest to the Hispanic community, including: economic development, collaborative fundraising, K-12 education, social media, financial literacy, immigration reform, disaster preparedness, and the importance of obtaining a college degree.  

The conference’s Líderes Summit, a national program designed to create opportunities for Latino youth, included workshops on preparing for job interviews, public speaking, and applying for a federal government job.

At the FCC exhibit I provided information on a variety of topics, including: informal complaints, cable television rates, indecency, bill shock, and the September 2015 deadline for low-power TV stations’ (LPTV) transition to an all-digital format.

There was also great interest about the October 15 – 29, 2013 application window for low-power FM radio stations (LPFMs).  Consumers seeking more information on the LPFM window, including how to file FCC Form 318, were directed to the User Guide at the Media Bureau's Consolidated Database System (CDBS) at  http://licensing.fcc.gov/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/cdbs_ug.htm and/or advised to contact the Audio Division Help Desk at (202) 418‐2662.

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