FM Transmitters in the USA, FCC, should it be Certified or Verified?

Is your transmitter FCC approved, or certified or verified? This is without a doubt the most common technical question we are asked about transmitters and their use in the USA by FM and LPFM.

To clear the first part up, there is no FCC approval. The transmitters can be certified or verified. Our understanding of this is that both certified and verified transmitters meet or exceed the FCC spec, the only basic difference is that the certified transmitter is independently tested in a lab for compliance. The verified transmitter is declared to be compliant by the manufacturer similar to the CE marking process in the EU. The result of this is that to cover the costs of the independent lab testing the certified transmitter can cost between 1000 and 2000 US dollars more than a verified transmitter for essentially the same thing. This would okay if the station purchasing the certified transmitter had a large budget to play with.

Unfortunately only LPFM stations need to use certified transmitters, all the other types of FM stations can use verified transmitters. LPFM are the stations with the least money running on charity and shoestring budgets and they have to buy the most expensive transmitters, there’s got to be a better way than this.

LPFM.TODAY at http://lpfm.today/2015/07/27/lpfm-ag-petition-for-rulemaking-is-filed/ have filed a 226 page petition to the FCC to have some of the rules changed. One of these changes is to allow LPFM stations to use verified transmitters. LPFM-AG claim there is no evidence to demonstrate that the use of certified transmitters is any different to the use of verified transmitters with LPFM and it is only an additional expense to the LPFM operator. LPFM operators have the same responsibility to hire or contract competent engineers as any other FM stations and given this should be allowed to use verified transmitters. You can follow this by signing up to http://lpfm.today. Check page 66 of the petition at lpfm.today