Posted by: cinnamonlaw | April 12, 2013

What Comes Between a Class C3 and a Class A FM Station? A Class C4 Station Of Course.

There is pending before the FCC a proposal to create a new Class C4 FM service.  Existing FCC rules provide for several different classes with minimum and maximum power outputs.  The smallest full power FM classification is a Class A, which allows a maximum power of 6 kW. Class C3 stations come next with a maximum power of 25 kW.  The new proposed Class C4 would fit right in between at 12 kW.  Before any new Class C4 stations are created, the petitioner proposes a procedure that would allow existing Class A stations to petition for an upgrade to Class C4.

People in radio broadcasting are split in their feelings about the proposal.  Radio station owners with more powerful stations (Class C3, C2 and C1) worry that allowing Class A stations to upgrade will cause more clutter and interference in the FM band. Struggling Class A who believe they could expand their audiences by claiming a larger coverage area want this new designation to be in place as soon as possible.  To view the entire Petition for Rulemaking, click here.  As of now, the FCC has not released a formal Notice seeking comment on the proposal, but if you have strong feelings about the proposal, you should share your opinion with the FCC as they ponder whether to move forward or not.



  1. “There’s a place in the world for a gambler.” as Dan Fogelberg eloquently sang. I think it’s a great idea, especially with digital radio station automation and satellite programming services, they should be able to serve small communities much better. As for the Class 1, 2, 3 clutter argument; non-sense! The FCC has already has guidelines for channel offsets and dictate that these stations must have a comfortable home for themselves amidst their bigger brothers. I think the real problem for the big guys is they don’t want the competition. We’ve seen that in arguments against LPFM all along and remember also… it’s usually just about ADVERTISING SALES. — Alan Freeman

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