The Senate Commerce Committee has voted to expand the number of Low Power FM (LPFM) stations around the country, via the Local Community Radio Act of 2007. The bill was sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA). The legislation would eliminate third channel protection for full-power FM stations, allowing more LPFM stations to exist.
The bill moves on to the full Senate next. A similar bill is currently in the House of Representatives, sponsored by Reps. Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Lee Terry (R-NE), with 55 co-sponsors.
Commenting on the bill, Prometheus Radio Project technical director Pete Tridish said in a statement, "Low Power FM radio was limited back in 2000, when the big broadcasters tried to convince America that 100-watt community radio stations would interfere with the biggest stations in America's biggest cities. At Congress' demand, the FCC proved that there was plenty of room for low power FM radio. With today's vote, and with the growing momentum to expand low power FM radio in the House of Representatives, communities across the country have a reason to celebrate."