McCain Praises FCC Recommendations on LPFM

February 20, 2004

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today applauded a report to Congress from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concluding that statutory limitations placed on low power FM stations are unnecessary to prevent interference and recommending that Congress eliminate these limitations. “Four years ago, broadcasters masqueraded their concern about competition from new low power FM stations in grossly exaggerated claims of interference. Today, the FCC has stripped the broadcasters of this disguise by concluding that these stations would cause virtually no interference, and recommending the removal of certain limits on such stations. In the coming days, I will introduce legislation to effectuate the FCC’s recommendation,” McCain said. Since 1996, the radio industry has experienced dramatic consolidation. Many witnesses have testified before the Senate Commerce Committee about their concerns that media consolidation has hurt localism. In January 2000, the FCC sought to promote the use of radio to provide local content by creating a new class of radio stations - low power FM radio services. Despite being supported by state and local governments, community organizations, musicians, religious groups, and students, low power FM was severely curtailed by a rider added to an Appropriations bill late in 2000 at the behest of the powerful broadcast lobby. “While it may be too late to turn back the clock on the radio consolidation that has occurred, low power FM may be one means of providing the public with a locally-oriented alternative to huge national radio networks,” McCain said. Go to for an electronic version of the report