Washington, DC - Jan 7, 2011 - President Obama signed the Local Community Radio Act into law. "The Local Community Radio Act signed by President Obama is a big win for radio listeners. Low-power FM stations are small, but they make a giant contribution to local community programming," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.
The effort was spearheaded by a group of community broadcasters and advocate groups including the Prometheus Radio Project. Prometheus says the new law paves the way for what could be the biggest expansion of community radio in US history.
"In this day of way-too-much media consolidation, stifling program homogenization and the decimation of local news, new voices are critically important to sustaining America's civic dialogue and citizen engagement," said FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps.
The 100 watt stations will be locally owned and run by non-profits, schools, emergency responders and other non-commercial groups. The new law repeals earlier restrictions that kept low power radio out of urban areas.
The next steps are up to the FCC, which must design rules for the revised service.