[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 124, 111th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


Public Law 111-371
111th Congress

An Act


 
To implement the recommendations of the Federal Communications
Commission report to the Congress regarding low-power FM service, and
for other purposes. <>

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, <>
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Local Community Radio Act of 2010''.
SEC. 2. AMENDMENT.

Section 632 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the
Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001 (Public Law
106-553; 114 Stat. 2762A-111), is amended to read as follows:
``Sec. 632. (a) The Federal Communications Commission shall modify
the rules authorizing the operation of low-power FM radio stations, as
proposed in MM Docket No. 99-25, to--
``(1) prescribe protection for co-channels and first- and
second-adjacent channels; and
``(2) prohibit any applicant from obtaining a low-power FM
license if the applicant has engaged in any manner in the
unlicensed operation of any station in violation of section 301
of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 301).

``(b) Any license that was issued by the Federal Communications
Commission to a low-power FM station prior to April 2, 2001, and that
does not comply with the modifications adopted by the Commission in MM
Docket No. 99-25 on April 2, 2001, shall remain invalid.''.
SEC. 3. MINIMUM DISTANCE SEPARATION REQUIREMENTS.

(a) In General.--The Federal Communications Commission shall modify
its rules to eliminate third-adjacent minimum distance separation
requirements between--
(1) low-power FM stations; and
(2) full-service FM stations, FM translator stations, and FM
booster stations.

(b) Restriction.--
(1) In general.--The Federal Communications Commission shall
not amend its rules to reduce the minimum co-channel and first-
and second-adjacent channel distance separation requirements in
effect on the date of enactment of this Act between--
(A) low-power FM stations; and
(B) full-service FM stations.

[[Page 4073]]

(2) Waiver.--
(A) In general.--Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the
Federal Communications Commission may grant a waiver of
the second-adjacent channel distance separation
requirement to low-power FM stations that establish,
using methods of predicting interference taking into
account all relevant factors, including terrain-
sensitive propagation models, that their proposed
operations will not result in interference to any
authorized radio service.
(B) Requirements.--
(i) Suspension.--Any low-power FM station that
receives a waiver under subparagraph (A) shall be
required to suspend operation immediately upon
notification by the Federal Communications
Commission that it is causing interference to the
reception of an existing or modified full-service
FM station without regard to the location of the
station receiving interference.
(ii) Elimination of interference.--A low-power
FM station described in clause (i) shall not
resume operation until such interference has been
eliminated or it can demonstrate to the Federal
Communications Commission that the interference
was not due to emissions from the low-power FM
station, except that such station may make short
test transmissions during the period of suspended
operation to check the efficacy of remedial
measures.
(iii) <>  Notification.--Upon
receipt of a complaint of interference from a low-
power FM station operating pursuant to a waiver
authorized under subparagraph (A), the Federal
Communications Commission shall notify the
identified low-power FM station by telephone or
other electronic communication within 1 business
day.
SEC. 4. PROTECTION OF RADIO READING SERVICES.

The Federal Communications Commission shall comply with its existing
minimum distance separation requirements for full-service FM stations,
FM translator stations, and FM booster stations that broadcast radio
reading services via an analog subcarrier frequency to avoid potential
interference by low-power FM stations.
SEC. 5. ENSURING AVAILABILITY OF SPECTRUM FOR LOW-POWER FM
STATIONS.

The Federal Communications Commission, when licensing new FM
translator stations, FM booster stations, and low-power FM stations,
shall ensure that--
(1) licenses are available to FM translator stations, FM
booster stations, and low-power FM stations;
(2) such decisions are made based on the needs of the local
community; and
(3) FM translator stations, FM booster stations, and low-
power FM stations remain equal in status and secondary to
existing and modified full-service FM stations.
SEC. 6. PROTECTION OF TRANSLATOR INPUT SIGNALS.

The Federal Communications Commission shall modify its rules to
address the potential for predicted interference to FM translator

[[Page 4074]]

input signals on third-adjacent channels set forth in section 2.7 of the
technical report entitled ``Experimental Measurements of the Third-
Adjacent Channel Impacts of Low-Power FM Stations, Volume One--Final
Report (May 2003)''.
SEC. 7. ENSURING EFFECTIVE REMEDIATION OF INTERFERENCE.

The Federal Communications Commission shall modify the interference
complaint process described in section 73.810 of its rules (47 CFR
73.810) as follows:
(1) With respect to those low-power FM stations licensed at
locations that do not satisfy third-adjacent channel spacing
requirements under section 73.807 of the Commission's rules (47
CFR 73.807), the Federal Communications Commission shall provide
the same interference protections that FM translator stations
and FM booster stations are required to provide as set forth in
section 74.1203 of its rules (47 CFR 74.1203) as in effect on
the date of enactment of this Act.
(2) <>  For a period
of 1 year after a new low-power FM station is constructed on a
third-adjacent channel, such low-power FM station shall be
required to broadcast periodic announcements that alert
listeners that interference that they may be experiencing could
be the result of the operation of such low-power FM station on a
third-adjacent channel and shall instruct affected listeners to
contact such low-power FM station to report any interference.
The Federal Communications Commission shall require all newly
constructed low-power FM stations on third-adjacent channels
to--
(A) <>  notify the
Federal Communications Commission and all affected
stations on third-adjacent channels of an interference
complaint by electronic communication within 48 hours
after the receipt of such complaint; and
(B) cooperate in addressing any such interference.
(3) Low-power FM stations on third-adjacent channels shall
be required to address complaints of interference within the
protected contour of an affected station and shall be encouraged
to address all other interference complaints, including
complaints to the Federal Communications Commission based on
interference to a full-service FM station, an FM translator
station, or an FM booster station by the transmitter site of a
low-power FM station on a third-adjacent channel at any distance
from the full-service FM station, FM translator station, or FM
booster station. <>  The Federal
Communications Commission shall provide notice to the licensee
of a low-power FM station of the existence of such interference
within 7 calendar days of the receipt of a complaint from a
listener or another station.
(4) To the extent possible, the Federal Communications
Commission shall grant low-power FM stations on third-adjacent
channels the technical flexibility to remediate interference
through the colocation of the transmission facilities of the
low-power FM station and any stations on third-adjacent
channels.
(5) The Federal Communications Commission shall--
(A) permit the submission of informal evidence of
interference, including any engineering analysis that an
affected station may commission;
(B) accept complaints based on interference to a
full-service FM station, FM translator station, or FM
booster

[[Page 4075]]

station by the transmitter site of a low-power FM
station on a third-adjacent channel at any distance from
the full-service FM station, FM translator station, or
FM booster station; and
(C) accept complaints of interference to mobile
reception.
(6) The Federal Communications Commission shall for full-
service FM stations that are licensed in significantly populated
States with more than 3,000,000 population and a population
density greater than 1,000 people per one square mile land area,
require all low-power FM stations licensed after the date of
enactment of this Act and located on third-adjacent, second-
adjacent, first-adjacent, or co-channels to such full-service FM
stations, to provide the same interference remediation
requirements to complaints of interference, without regard to
whether such complaints of interference occur within or outside
of the protected contour of such stations, under the same
interference complaint and remediation procedures that FM
translator stations and FM booster stations are required to
provide to full-service stations as set forth in section 74.1203
of its rules (47 CFR 74.1203) as in effect on the date of
enactment of this Act. Notwithstanding the provisions of section
74.1203, no interference that arises outside the relevant
distance for the full-service station class specified in the
first column titled ``required'' for ``Co-channel minimum
separation (km)'' in the table listed in section 73.807(a)(1) of
the Commission's rules (47 CFR 73.807(a)(1)) shall require
remediation.
SEC. 8. FCC STUDY ON IMPACT OF LOW-POWER FM STATIONS ON FULL-
SERVICE COMMERCIAL FM STATIONS.

(a) In General.--The Federal Communications Commission shall conduct
an economic study on the impact that low-power FM stations will have on
full-service commercial FM stations.
(b) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of
this Act, the Federal Communications Commission shall submit a report to
the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and
the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives on
the study conducted under subsection (a).

[[Page 4076]]

(c) Licensing Not Affected by Study.--Nothing in this section shall
affect the licensing of new low-power FM stations as otherwise permitted
under this Act.

Approved January 4, 2011.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 6533:
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CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 156 (2010):
Dec. 17, considered and passed House.
Dec. 18, considered and passed Senate.