LPFM Bill Reintroduced

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Longtime low-power FM-radio advocate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has reintroduced a bill that would allow more of the stations to be added to the radio dial by reducing the separation between them and existing full-power stations.

Also held over from a low-power bill introduced last July is a provision that would eliminate the requirement, part of earlier legislation, mandating further testing on the economic impact of potential interference from LPFM stations on full power FM stations.

Under current rules, LPFM's must now be separated by two channels (no closer than the third adjacent channel) from existing FM's, while McCain's bill would allow only a single channel to separate the new stations.

The National Association of Broadcasters argues that is is "critically important" to maintain the third-adjacent-channel protections to guard against interference.

McCain, joined by Maria Cantwell (D-Wa.),and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), call broadcasters interference claims "flagrantly exaggerated" and cite a study showing the reduced separation will not be a threat to existing broadcasters.

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