FCC Establishes LPFM Service (2000)

Even though the Dunifer case was eventually lost, and the Lake County microstation had to be shut down (1999), it was obvious by the popularity of micropower radio across the land that a gaping and unrecognized hole existed in the media landscape. The FCC itself recognized this gap between the centralized and the local. And so, low power FM (LPFM)- a licensed form of micropower radio – was created in 2000.

The new service had resulted directly from the lobbying of many micropower stations such as the one in Lake County as well as the actions by groups such as the National Lawyers Guild, the Rainbow Coalition, the Green Party, and by thousands of people who supported local media empowerment from both the right and left of the political spectrum. Unfortunately the new lpfm service was opposed by NPR Radio, The National Association of Broadcasters, a Republican Congress, and much of the existing broadcast industry, so the possible wide-spread potential of lpfm was drastically cut back by congress, and only organizations in rural areas were allowed to apply. Still, the door to licensed locally-owned radio had been opened.