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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
12/16/2009--Passed House amended. Local Community Radio Act of 2009 - (Sec. 2) Amends the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001 to require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to 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 the Communications Act of 1934. (Current law is the same, except that clause (1) instead requires prescribing minimum distance separations for third-adjacent channels, as well as for co-channels and first- and second-adjacent channels.)
States that any license that was issued by the FCC to a low-power FM station prior to April 2, 2001, and that does not comply with the modifications adopted by the Commission in the above docket on April 2, 2001, shall remain invalid.
Eliminates provisions prohibiting the FCC from extending the eligibility for application for low-power FM stations beyond the organizations and entities as proposed in the above docket.
(Sec. 3) Requires the FCC 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.
(Sec. 4) Requires the FCC to 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) Requires the FCC, when licensing new FM translator stations, FM booster stations, and low-power FM stations, to ensure that: (1) licenses are available to FM translator stations, FM booster stations, and low-power FM stations; and (2) such decisions are made based on the needs of the local community.
(Sec. 6) Requires the FCC to modify its rules to address the potential for predicted interference to FM translator input signals on third-adjacent channels set forth in a specified technical report.
(Sec. 7) Requires the FCC to modify the interference complaint process in specified ways.
(Sec. 8) Requires the FCC to study and report to Congress on the impact that low-power FM stations will have on full-service commercial FM stations.