Path for LPFM through the Telecom Bill Forest?

Thursday at 2 PM EDT the Senate Commerce Comittee will begin marking up and possibly voting on the ironically titled Communications, Consumer’s Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006. It’s the Senate version of the COPE Act, whose primary purpose is to speed the entry of the big telcos, like AT&T and Verizon, into the cable TV business, without all those pesky public service requirements that traditional cable has had to contend with.

One little point of light is that Sen. John McCain is taking this as an opportunity to offer an amendment called the Local Community Radio Act [PDF of the Act], which would reverse the 2000 act of Congress that cut LPFM off at the knees . McCain’s amendment would restore the FCC’s original spacing requirements for the service, allowing LPFM stations to be closer than three adjacent frequencies to other stations.

Of course, we can also expect network neutrality to be hotly debated during this markup. And, I daresay that net neutrality is more important than the restoration of LPFM — even though that restoration could mean hundreds to thousands more community stations across the country.


One response to “Path for LPFM through the Telecom Bill Forest?”

  1. […] On the brighter side, the Committee also voted in favor of Sen. McCain’s LPFM amendment that would reverse the 2000 evisceration of low-power radio by restoring the FCC’s original spacing requirements. There was bipartisan support on this one, with 14 votes for, and 9 against. […]

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