Resources for writing the FCC about translators

Resources for writing the FCC about translators

Update March 2012: We won! The FCC released new rules on March 19, 2012 that implement a market-by-market analysis to ensure space for new LPFMs. See our article explaining the details. Thank you to everyone who wrote letters on this issue!

Translators and low power FM (LPFM) stations use the same channels, but while LPFM stations give local groups a voice on the airwaves, translators just repeat the programming of giant networks, mostly evangelical commercial empires. Under a proposal called the "ten cap," FCC may soon give away thousands of potential LPFM channels to these networks! Use the resources here to demand that they save channels for community radio in your area.

Best laid plans: A Prometheus newsletter article explaining the "ten cap," the Common Frequency simulations and the current (Nov '10) translator situation. What are translators and how do they keep your community off the airwaves? Read this to find out.

One page summary of the Common Frequncy studies. Includes tables that show how few channels will be available for LPFM after a translator ten cap in various cities.

Common Frequency simulation #1: Top 150 markets after a ten cap
For those who want the gory details. This study used the Auction 83 translator MX groups from 2003 to gauge spectrum availability for LPFM. Assuming that translator applicants will choose their ten most valuable applications, the study predicts that 759 of the 782 MX groups in the top 150 radio markets will have at least one application remaining after a ten cap, ensuring that each of these frequencies will go to a translator. This leaves only 3% of these available frequencies open for LPFM. (Not a radio geek? Read the Best Laid Plans version instead.)

Common Frequency simulation #2: A closer look at seven markets
More gory details for true radio geeks. This second study takes a closer look at engineering data in seven top markets to see how many viable channels for LPFM would remain after a ten cap on translator applications. The results show that few if any viable channels would be left for LPFM in these markets, with nearly all channels going to translators.

Common Frequency -First Study.pdf4.66 MB
CommonFrequency-2ndStudy.pdf2.88 MB
tencapinformation.pdf50.85 KB
10capWritetheFCC.pdf158.07 KB