Low Power FM Radio Stations - LPFM

Your Information Resouce for All LPFM Radio Stations In The United States

There are currently 2,079 Low Power FM (LPFM) radio station transmitters licensed by the FCC across the United States. LPFM stations are owned by non-profit organizations, local governments and Indian tribes serving local communities with a maximum of 100 Watts and a 60 dbu range of approximately 3.5 miles.


Low Power FM (LPFM) radio stations are truly local in nature, requiring local ownership within the communities in which they serve. They were introduced by actions of Congress and temporary filing windows and application processes with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Educational and religious organizations use their own resources to build and operate local radio stations with about as much power as a light bulb. Some LPFM stations, usually owned by a local munipality provide public safety and transportation broadcasts.

LPFM broadcasts are commercial free, very much like PBS, where you may occasionally hear limited underwriting messages about organizations who have provided financial funding to the station, commercial advertising is prohibited by current FCC rules. This does however make it difficult for many LPFM stations to survive. While these low power stations have to meet most of the same expensive compliance rules with the FCC as full power stations, they must self finance their operations and mostly depend on contributions to their organization in order to stay on the air. Most people who work at these stations volunteer their time rather than receiving comparable salaries available at commercial stations.

Limited windows were available to apply for these stations, all of which are now closed with no known date when new applications will be accepted. A great percentage of those who have applies were either unable to afford the construction or operation costs and are not on the air. Others who faced competition for a local frequency may have entered a time sharing agreement and split their broadcasts between multiple organizations.

Currently, there is a push to expand the power available to LPFM stations up to 250 Watts. At 100 watts, signal penetration into homes are much more difficult to achieve, especially in larger rural areas and where large buildings or hills exist.

Despite the operating hardships endured by low power FM stations, these broadcasts are probably the closest in truly serving the listening needs of the public audience with local news, weather and content most communities do not receive from full power stations run by organizations that can be up to thousands of miles away.

Latest LPFM News from the FCC:

MB Affirms Dismissal of Two LPFM Applications
Wednesday 6th of December 2017 12:00:00 AM
[Media] Affirmed the dismissal of two applications for LPFM construction permits
Document(s): DOCX PDF TXT

Urbanmedia One, Application for New LPFM Station at Chicago, IL
Monday 12th of June 2017 12:00:00 AM
[Media] Commission affirms grant of application of Urbanmedia One for a new LPFM station at Chicago, IL
Document(s): DOCX PDF TXT

Commission Affirms Grant of LPFM Applicant Razorcake/Gorskey Press
Wednesday 22nd of March 2017 12:00:00 AM
[Media] FCC denies AFR filed by Educational Media Foundation and affirms grant of Razorcake/Gorsky Press, Inc. application for a new LPFM station at Pasadena, California
Document(s): DOC PDF TXT

Radio FM de Baja Potencia (LPFM)
Monday 30th of January 2017 12:00:00 AM

FCC Addresses Applications for New LPFM Stations in San Francisco, CA
Friday 24th of June 2016 12:00:00 AM
[Media] Granted in part, denied in part, and dismissed in part various Petitions to Deny, and identifies new tentative selectees in LPFM MX Group 37
Document(s): DOCX PDF TXT

Commission Grants LA Social Justice LPFM Application for Review
Thursday 23rd of June 2016 12:00:00 AM
[Media] Granted the Application for Review of LA Social Justice Radio Project
Document(s): DOCX PDF TXT

Commission Upholds Birmingham, AL LPFM Station Applications
Monday 9th of May 2016 12:00:00 AM
[Media] FCC denies Application for Review filed by Kimtron, Inc. that challenged grants of three applications for new LPFM stations at Birmingham, Alabama
Document(s): DOCX PDF TXT

FCC ADOPTS REVISED LPFM ORDER; CODIFIES THIRD ADJACENT CHANNEL INTERFERENCE PROTECTION STANDARDS
Monday 28th of December 2015 12:00:00 AM
[Mass Media] The FCC modified its rules for the low power FM service
Document(s): DOC PDF TXT

FCC to Consider Options for Expanding, Strengthening LPFM Service
Wednesday 23rd of December 2015 12:00:00 AM
Document(s): DOC PDF TXT

Erratum - NEW LPFM, Cave Junction, OR
Tuesday 22nd of December 2015 12:00:00 AM
[Media] Issued Erratum correcting Letter, DA 05-1948, released July 7, 2005
Document(s): DOC PDF TXT


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