LPFM Day Reviewed; KFAR Packs It In?

The big day came and went Tuesday, much rhetoric was bandied about and even Mikey Powell said nice things about community radio (all of the other Commissioners, except Jonathan Adelstein, made appearances). The proceedings were webcast and the archive can be watched here (Real Player required).
Two panels were held: the first was basically made up of representatives of LPFM stations around the country who talked up the good work they do and diplomatically chastised the FCC for not expanding the service out to its full potential.
The second panel was much more interesting. It focused on exploring ways the FCC could improve the LPFM service, and quite a few interesting suggestions were offered forth. The most repetitive was that the FCC needs to modify interference protection rules in favor of LPFM stations – many station reps complained of sever encroachment on their signals by full-power stations, some of whom have had their signal coverage areas diminished by more than half because of interference from big sticks. The Translator Invasion of 2003 was also a hot topic.
One panelist even went so far as to raise the concept of LPAM: the suggested parameters of such a service would allow for unlicensed operation with up to 25 watts, perhaps limited to 1710 KHz, which is not technically part of the AM dial but is receivable by the majority of receivers in circulation.
LPFM Day also saw the re-introduction of legislation to expand the service back out to its original parameters. The “Local Community Radio Act of 2005” is co-sponsored by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and John McCain (R-AZ). These are the same three co-sponsors of a nearly identifiable bill which died of inaction in the last session.
On the non-licensed side of the microradio spectrum, it appears that Knoxville’s First Amendment Radio will not return. Dialogue on the station’s forums has trickled to almost nothing and the supervisor of a mailing list originally set up to keep supporters informed of the status of KFAR resigned over the weekend, citing the fact that the station was “several months dead” and seemed unlikely to reappear. There is a new entity, CROK (Community Radio of Knoxville), streaming online but it does not appear to be on the Knoxville’s airwaves proper. David Icove‘s certainly flexing his neck in pride.