LPAM Petition for Rulemaking Amended

Last October, a coalition of aspiring low-power AM broadcasters and citizens filed a petition for rulemaking at the FCC to create a licensed LPAM service. The comment and reply-comment period came and went, attracting a smattering of public input, including some predictable opposition from most established (commercial) broadcasters. The FCC’s done nothing with it since.
Rumor has it that FCC staff may be more inclined to explore the idea of legal LPAM were the petition streamlined to outline a technically and politically simple service to administer. Otherwise, went the rumor, “come back in a few years” to try again.
Consequently a revised LPAM petition was filed late last week in RM-11287. This one is as simple as they come: its technical parameters are lifted straight from the FCC’s existing AM Travelers’ Information Station (TIS) service rules. This would allow for maximum power levels of 10 watts, a maximum antenna height of 15 meters, and 24-hour operation. LPAM stations would initially be sited only in the expanded band (north of 1600 kHz), the least-congested area of the dial.
Interestingly, the new proposal calls for no national ownership cap on LPAM stations, though it does limit ownership at the market-level. Now to see if the revisions breathe new life into the neglected proceeding.