June 22, 2023 – Organizations can file new LPFM (low-power FM) station applications during the first week of November. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) is currently updating the online application to reflect rule changes since 2013, and when that is complete, nonprofit groups can begin preparing their applications online.
Until the FCC forms are updated, and until we update our website, most of our 2013 information in the sections “FCC Low Power FM Application” and “Technical” at Start a Station -> Resources is still applicable. The big changes are that the online systems look completely different now, and some of the “points” are a little different.
In contrast to 2013, most big cities are now “full” and have no room for additional LPFM stations. The same is true for areas anywhere close to big cities, and areas close-ish to more than one city of any size. This is a bummer since those are also where most of the people wanting new stations are likely to be. Applicants for the few frequencies which are available in these areas will almost certainly caught up in the the competitive “mutually exclusive” resolution process. Organizations which cooperate to share a frequency will have an advantage.
Supporting Stations: What We Look For
Prometheus works towards a media system that allows everyone to have a voice on the airwaves. With limited resources, however, we use the following questions to prioritize which station applicants get our closest support. Prior to the 2013 window, Prometheus had 8 paid staff, and on the last day of the filing window over 20 staff, interns and volunteers in the office. Right now we are two volunteers, who also provide (sub-)contract technical services through, and to help financially support Prometheus.
- A Purpose. Do you have a clear mission that we can get behind?
We prioritize groups whose mission, vision, and values align with our own. We build participatory radio as a tool for social justice organizing and community expression, and we help grassroots organizations to build communications infrastructure to strengthen their communities and movements.
- Community. Do you have strong local participation and engagement?
Local roots in your area and past history of working in the community? Relationships with other organizations and communities in your area? Demonstrated ability to collaborate and work across differences Volunteer involvement or a plan to engage volunteers?
- Diversity. Will your station bring new voices to the airwaves?
Leadership from communities underrepresented in the media and those historically disenfranchised from media ownership and access? A plan to build the leadership of people from these communities in your station’s governance and programming?