CARC Board: Low Power FM Broadcast Band Licensing

Low-Power Licenses Applications accepted first week of November, 2023

FCC announced on June 22, 2023, an application window will open from November 1 to the 8th of 2023. where low-power licenses (LP) may be granted on the AM and FM broadcast bands. These are the frequencies that all car radios can tune to.

Value to the Chelsea AR Club

A LP license facilitates a public service the Chelsea club can produce. At public events where the Chelsea club is operating in conjunction with local authorities or event promoters, public service announcements can be made over broadcast frequencies all car radios are able to tune in. Let us take the Chelsea Community Fair parade that occurs each year in late August. The entire community would be advised to tune to 10X.X on their FM dials for parade update information. A recording would play at intervals of maybe 3 minutes simply saying, “Listen for update information on today’s parade sponsored by the Chelsea Amateur Radio Club.” We would be using crossbanding such that one handie-talkie would interrupt the periodic announcement recording with some special message. The handie-talkie would be mobile and thus could be located anywhere.

The range of an LP station is intended to be 3 and 1/2 miles so two licenses would be needed–one for Chelsea and the other for Manchester. However, only one set of equipment would be needed. The licensing would be for the operational area and not the equipment.

How Do I Pay for this Equipment?

There will be some expense which is at yet undetermined. However, I believe I can find local businesses to sponsor this effort.

Informational Websites Listed Below

FCC common questions page.

FCC station renewal. There are two forms noted here. FCC Schedule 303-S (license renewal) and FCC Schedule 396 (Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity Program Report)

FCC Low Power Radio General Information. There is a classification noted here called “Carrier Current and Campus Radio Stations.” This is a technique where radio broadcasting is injected into a local facility power (120 VAC) line such as a residential house but more commonly a community such as a college campus. The broadcasting is not injected into the atmosphere and thus is highly limited in an ability to receive. Some will escape into the atmosphere a few tens of feet. This classification is not of interest to us.

The ARRL describes FCC Part 15 radio. This unlicensed AM/FM broadcast band transmissons thare allowed.