It only took a Freedom of Information Act request and the subtle threat of filing suit to bring it to light, but the FCC finally released the Mitre report on low-power FM interference issues. The report was mandated by Congress as part of the Radio Broadcasting Preservation Act of 2000 which gutted the rollout of LPFM by requiring stations to obey the same spacing on the dial as full-power stations, thereby eliminating the potential for new LPFM stations in many of the nation’s largest urban areas.
Don Schellhardt of the Amherst Alliance spearheaded the movement to place pressure on the FCC to finally release the report (more than two years late), and he’s mobilizing people to press Congress into listening to the results: LPFM stations can be placed much closer to full-power stations than currently allowed without any substantial interference problems.
I interviewed Don on last Friday’s mediageek radio show, where he gives more details of the report, how it finally got released, and what action we can take to try and revitalize LPFM. You can listen to the show on-line: