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Low Power FM (LPFM) Channel Finder

The Low Power FM (LPFM) Channel Finder search tool provides potential applicants with a simple means to tentatively identify FM broadcast channels available in their communities.  The search tool incorporates changes required by the Local Community Radio Act of 2010, Pub. Law 111-371, particularly the elimination of third-adjacent channel LPFM spacing requirements (except to protect Canadian or Mexican stations or FM broadcast stations known to host a radio reading service).  Users should keep in mind that this search does not account for all factors that may affect broadcasting in the FM band, such as terrain effects or interference from distant but fully spaced stations operating on the same or adjacent channels.  The LPFM Channel Finder does not address the required protection for FM translator and FM Booster input signals (see the Sixth Order on Reconsideration in Dockets 99-25 and 07-172 and the related October 18, 2013 Public Notice.  Licensing actions prior to or during the LPFM window also may affect potential LPFM channels.  Finally, the tool does not take into account factors outside the FCC's jurisdiction that may affect site suitability and availability, including local zoning or building codes, environmental considerations, and power access.  Applicants should consider all relevant factors before selecting channels and sites. 

Separately, there is a scalable nationwide map on the Low Power FM Opportunities [2013] page that may give you a quick sense as to how many LPFM channels might be potentially available in your region, without needing coordinates or other technical data.  Here too, the map cannot factor in all considerations affecting the ultimate suitability of any particular location of channel.

Tool Options.  Applications for new LPFM stations must currently meet certain distance separation requirements to stations operating on and applications proposing operations on second-adjacent channels and intermediate frequency (I.F.) channels (+/- 53 and 54 channels).  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 I.F. spacing requirements.  See the Fifth Report and Order, Fourth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Fourth Notice on Reconsideration in MM Docket 99-25, FCC 12-28, released March 19, 2012  [ PDF | Word ].  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. 

Determining Latitude and Longitude Coordinates.  Applicants are responsible for accurately determining the NAD 27 coordinates of potential transmitter sites.  Many applicants retain surveyors to help determine the proposed station coordinates.  Owners of existing tower structures should also have this information.  Employees of the Audio Division or other Commission staff cannot assist users in this process.  Coordinates must be determined to the nearest 1 second (degrees/minutes/seconds = DDD/MM/SS).  Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers provide an alternative method for determining coordinates.  However, WGS84/NAD83 coordinates obtained from a GPS receiver must be converted to the NAD27 coordinate system before entering data.  Similarly, decimal coordinates must be converted to degrees, minutes, and seconds, to the nearest second.  Applicants are cautioned that the inaccurate specification of coordinates may result in application dismissal.  Applicants unable to identify an available channel at desired site locations may wish to engage the services of a consulting communications engineer. 

NOTICE: The LPFM Channel Finder search tool is intended solely to assist LPFM applicants in tentatively identifying available FM channels.  There is no guarantee that channels represented as "available" will be technically acceptable at the time an application is filed.

Users must be aware that neither the FCC nor the United States Government shall be responsible or liable for any loss, expense, or damage arising from or incident to the use of this program or the underlying data.  This program cannot be used to file an application for an LPFM station or to amend a pending application.  Use of the search tool does not confer any authority to operate a radio broadcast station. 

LPFM Channel Finder

NAD 27 Latitude and Longitude: (degrees/minutes/seconds)
Station Latitude          Station Longitude

Results only                                  
Show List of Stations Considered

Special search options:

Second-adjacent channels: An LPFM application must satisfy minimum distance separation requirements to stations operating on and applications proposing operations on second-adjacent channels.  The Local Community Radio Act authorizes the Commission to waive second-adjacent channel protection requirements and the Commission has under consideration proposed waiver standards. 

Include    Exclude  
Second-adjacent channel distance separation requirements to authorized stations and pending applications

Intermediate Frequency (I.F.) channels: An LPFM application must satisfy minimum distance separation requirements to stations operating on and applications proposing operations on intermediate frequency (I.F.) channels.  The Commission has under consideration a proposal to eliminate this requirement for LPFM applications proposing operations at less than 100 watts effective radiated power.

Include    Exclude 
I.F. channel distance separation requirements to authorized stations and pending applications


Additional Information

Comments or questions about the LPFM Channel Finder program may be sent to Dale.Bickel, [email protected].

More information about the LPFM service can be found at Low Power FM Broadcast Radio Stations (LPFM). See also the Broadcast Radio Links and the Audio Division pages.

FCC > Media Bureau > Audio Division           

Reviewed: November 4, 2014

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