FCC's Clyburn Considers TV Channels 5 and 6 for LP Radio

June 14, 2010

Washington - Jun 14, 2010 - During her speech at the 35th Annual Community Radio Conference in St. Paul, MN, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn touched on some broadcast issues. At the beginning of her address, she called community radio "an essential piece of the American experience." She noted that, "The work you do helps inform and educate communities, entertain them, and enable them to feel more connected to the world around them. You are also an example of what a diverse broadcast world could and should actually look like. In many respects, community radio presents a model for what could be; how Americans can get local news and information from a diverse array of sources and from home-grown talent and ownership."

The commissioner also expressed her support for community radio through the FCC efforts in authorizing the tribal preference for station authorizations and in extending low-power radio penetration.

She also urged National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB) members to consider HD Radio multicast channels as method to distribute community programming. She suggested community broadcasters should partner with established, licensed stations to program the multicast channels.

She went one step further in noting that TV channels 5 and 6 could be suitable for a new radio service. Clyburn says that channels 5 and 6 have proven difficult for television broadcasting. From her speech: " I have a hard time imagining that they would fare much better as additional spectrum for mobile broadband use. This spectrum is not well suited for digital transmissions. It certainly is possible that this spectrum could be used for LPFM, expanded NCE use, and AM broadcasters."

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