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New-LPFM Application Granted, What’s Next?

    Once upon a time your new-LPFM application was Accepted for Filing and now it is Granted. Congratulations! This is the time to raise funds, design, and build your new station! We’re offering station-building services to help your organization plan, fundraise, and get on the air!

    When is my construction deadline?

    You should have 36 months from the date when your new-LPFM construction permit was granted, which you can confirm in your construction-permit authorization which was probably emailed to you by the FCC, or you can find it in LMS. The deadline is almost never flexible, so don’t take chances!

    What’s important about a construction-permit authorization and where do I find it?

    Your construction-permit authorization is the permission you were given to construct a station based on your initial new-LPFM application. It specifies where, how high, at what frequency you are permitted to construct your antenna, and when construction must be complete.

    There are at least two ways to find your construction-permit authorization in LMS. The first is to log into your LMS account and select the “Authorizations” tab. The other way is to locate your application for example using LMS public search ( or by logging into your LMS account. You’ll find the authorization (PDF) link in the top-right corner of the application.

    What has to be accomplished by the construction-permit deadline?

    1. obtain call letters
    2. construct your station
    3. begin regular legal programming by the expiration deadline
    4. file both the Program Test Notification and most importantly, your License to Cover, preferably no later than the day before your construction permit expires.

    What is the minimum legal programming?

    Of course you’d like to go on with your full schedule, but sometimes that isn’t possible. The minimum required is 5 hours per day (73.850) with legal station IDs near the top of every hour. Content can be anything legal to broadcast, even the station ID over and over. A legal station ID is your full call sign followed by the city, for example WXXXLP Springfield — yes the “LP” is required (73.1201). If you go on the air with music, you should be aware of music licensing.

    Do I set the transmitter to 100 watts?

    No (99% of the time). Most LPFMs are authorized for 100 watts ERP (Effective Radiated Power), although many also are authorized for less than 100 watts due to their relative height or proximity to an international border. You must always check your construction-permit authorization to be certain.

    ERP is the power going into the sky, which is different than the transmitter power output (TPO). Your antenna, coax feedline, and any other components between the transmitter and antenna; affect how much power is required from the transmitter (TPO = Transmitter Power Output) produce your authorized ERP (Effective Radiated Power). If you utilize a broadcast engineer, they’ll usually figure it out for you. The calculated TPO is also required for your License to Cover application.

    How and When do I file the Program Test Notification?

    You are required to file it within 10 days of when you begin legal broadcast programming. To keep things simple, file it before your construction permit expires.

    In LMS, use the “Authorizations” tab, then click on your construction-permit authorization which is normally the only thing present for a new station, then you can use the File-An-Application menu to file the Notification.

    How and When do I file the License to Cover application?

    This too must be filed within 10 days of when you begin legal broadcast programming (I usually file it at the same time as the Program Test Notification, and it uses the same LMS menus). To keep things simple, file it before your construction permit expires.

    You’ll need to record your new-LPFM construction permit file number before you begin, and have completed the TPO calculation. At some future date, you’ll thank yourself for attaching an exhibit containing the TPO components and calculation, even though it isn’t required.

    Can I change my location, height, or frequency?

    You absolutely must construct at the location, height, and frequency that your construction-permit authorization specifies, and if you used a second-adjacent waiver, must also use the specific antenna model if it was part of the waiver, even if it’s not in the authorization. If you want to move more than 10′ horizontally or 6′ vertically, consult an engineer to see if you need a new construction permit. Stations which flaunt this have been cancelled.

    But I really need to modify my location, height, or frequency…

    Sometimes you want to relocate for better coverage or to reduce costs, or the host location gets sold or demolished. It’s normal for stations to change a few things during their 3-year construction period, and it just requires FCC permission to do so. With your granted construction permit, you can do minor modifications like any other LPFM station, by filing a minor modification to a construction permit form in LMS, using the same menu as program test notification. Modifications must comply with a bunch of rules just like your initial application did. Be aware that modifications do not extend your construction deadline!