Low Power FM Radio Stations - LPFM

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

There are currently 2,343 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:

Chairman Response Regarding LPFM New Application Filing Window
Monday 3rd of August 2020 12:00:00 AM
Document(s): PDF TXT

EB Proposes $15k Fine Against Plymouth for LPFM Underwriting Violation
Thursday 2nd of July 2020 12:00:00 AM
[Enforcement] EB proposes a penalty of $15,000 against Plymouth Gathering, Inc., for apparently violating Underwriting Laws on its LPFM station KELS-LP, Greeley, Colorado
Document(s): DOC PDF TXT

Effective Dates for LPFM Technical Rules
Tuesday 23rd of June 2020 12:00:00 AM
Document(s): DOCX PDF TXT

FCC Revises NCE and LPFM Comparative Processing and Licensing Rules
Wednesday 11th of December 2019 12:00:00 AM
[Media] Commission adopts a Report and Order revising its comparative processing and licensing rules for Noncommercial Educational Broadcast Stations and Low Power FM Stations
Document(s): DOCX PDF TXT

Media Bureau Announces Comment Dates for LPFM Technical NPRM
Friday 27th of September 2019 12:00:00 AM
[Media] The Media Bureau Announces Comment Dates in MB Docket No. 19-193, LPFM Technical Rulemaking, for comments addressing the NPRM, FCC 19-74
Document(s): DOCX PDF TXT

Reach for the Top, Inc.; Licensee of LPFM Station KTPC-LP; Venice, CA
Thursday 1st of August 2019 12:00:00 AM
[Enforcement] Notice of Volation issued for violation(s) as noted herein.
Document(s): DOCX PDF TXT

NCE/LPFM Point System NPRM Comment Deadlines
Thursday 21st of March 2019 12:00:00 AM
Document(s): DOCX PDF TXT

FCC Proposes to Streamline NCE FM & LPFM Licensing Procedures
Friday 15th of February 2019 12:00:00 AM
[Media] The Commission adopts a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes revisions to the Commission's NCE and LPFM comparative processing and licensing rules
Document(s): DOCX PDF TXT

FCC Proposes to Streamline NCE FM & LPFM Licensing Procedures
Thursday 14th of February 2019 12:00:00 AM
[Media] Proposals Seek to Help Speed Delivery of New Radio Services to Consumers
Document(s): DOCX PDF TXT

Revising Licensing of NCE Broadcast & LPFM Stations
Thursday 3rd of January 2019 12:00:00 AM
Document(s): PDF


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