Commissioner Pai Statement on the Status of the LPRM Proceeding
STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI
ON THE MEDIA BUREAU’S PRESENTATION
ON THE STATUS OF THE LPFM PROCEEDING
First and foremost, I would like to thank the staff of the Media Bureau’s Audio Division for all of
their hard work on the low-power FM (LPFM) proceeding. When I proposed that we set October 2013 as
the month for opening the new LPFM application window, I was confident that the Audio Division could
handle this important task. But they’ve managed to surpass even these lofty expectations.
The results we’ve heard about this morning are tremendous. For example, the Audio Division
has granted 1,200 applications in just six months. By contrast, in the 2000–2001 LPFM application
windows, it took the Commission about four years to grant that many applications. This means that the
Division has been processing applications eight times more quickly. That kind of efficiency does the
public right, and I am confident that the Division will continue to make the agency proud as it finishes
processing the remaining applications.
I’m also pleased that this application window is on track to be even more successful than earlier
ones. Despite the fact that 400 fewer LPFM applications were filed nationwide in 2013 than in 2000–
2001, the Division is on track to grant somewhere between 175 and 475 more applications this time
These aren’t just cold numbers on a page. They represent new voices across our country. Thanks
to the Division’s efforts, countless community organizations are going to use LPFM stations to bring
innovative content to our nation’s airwaves.
In doing so, they’ll promote diversity and serve the unique
interests of our local communities.
In my home state of Kansas, for instance, no fewer than five new Spanish-language LPFM
stations have already been approved during this window. These stations will serve communities big and
small, from Topeka, the state capital, to Ulysses, a small town of about 6,000 people in southwest Kansas
named after our nation’s 18th President. A new Chinese-language LPFM station has also been approved
to serve Lawrence, Kansas. These unique offerings are exactly what Congress intended when it passed
the Local Community Radio Act in 2010.
Finally, I hope that we will now bring this same sense of urgency to revitalization of the AM
band. Commenters overwhelmingly supported the reforms we proposed to our AM radio rules last
October. They’re particularly interested in the idea of opening a window for AM broadcasters to acquire
FM translators. They’ve also taken us up on our request for ideas beyond the NPRM’s four corners and
have offered thoughtful suggestions for improving the AM service in both the short and long terms.
Given the static facing the AM band, we can’t afford to delay.
Let’s set the end of October as the
deadline for action and prioritize opening an FM translator window for AM broadcasters. Thanks to the
Audio Division’s talented and dedicated staff, I have no doubt that we can get this done if we tune the dial
Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.