FCC releases LPFM availability finder


FCCAll you do is go to the appropriate location in the FCC database, plug in longitude and latitude and voila! A readout of possible LPFM frequencies appears before your eyes. Not only that, it also suggests which are likely to suffer the least interference.

The finder requires coordinate data down to the nearest second. It also incorporates the latest rules.

Here is the FCC’s explanation:

“The LPFM Channel Finder tool provides a simple means to tentatively identify available FM channels at any location. To undertake a search a user enters NAD 27 latitude and longitude coordinates of a potential transmitter site. Coordinates must be determined to the nearest second. The LPFM Channel Finder incorporates changes required by the Local Community Radio Act of 2010, including the elimination of LPFM third-adjacent channel spacing requirements. The Commission is currently considering standards for waiving second-adjacent channel spacing requirements and a proposal to exempt LPFM stations operating at less than 100 watts from intermediate frequency spacing requirements. Commission action on these proposals could affect LPFM channel availability at many locations. Searches can include or exclude either or both of these spacing requirements to help LPFM applicants take into account these potential rule changes.”

The FCC also said, “As explained in more detail on the web page, a successful search does not guarantee that identified “available” channels will be technically acceptable at the time of application filing. The tool also does not take into account many other factors that can limit radio station transmitter site location options.”

The FCC notes that the results of the search are not definitive, and suggests engaging the services of a consulting engineer when planning to apply for an LPFM license.

The app can be accessed here.

RBR-TVBR observation: We in the RBR-TVBR Outer Banks Bureau have a lot of LPFM opportunities, but plug in the coordinates for our previous residence and the possibilities are non-existent.

We plugged in our OBX coordinates and not only found out that we have 21 likely dial positions for an LPFM, we were also shown a list of 11 frequencies that were least likely to suffer interference from full-power stations in the area.

We lived in the Washington DC suburb of Woodbridge VA prior to establishing our current RBR-TVBR coastal outpost, and the anticipated LPFM availabilities in Woodbridge are zero.