Wednesday, August 02, 2006

New Zealand Low Powered FM (LPFM) Online Database

The Radio Heritage Foundation is (very shortly) launching the first online searchable guide to New Zealand's very active Low Powered FM (LPFM) radio station market.

Since the 1990's, New Zealanders have been able to create their own low power FM radio stations and begin freely broadcasting on a narrow range of frequencies. Commonly called the 'guardband', these frequencies are at the top and bottom ends of the standard FM dial. The power is very low and coverage is usually 5-10km from the transmitter location.

The stations are completely unregulated, as they're automatically entitled to a GURL [General Users Radio Licence] so long as they meet technical regulations.

Hundreds of such stations have been created, and many have come and gone. Some are still around after a decade. Various attempts to list currently on-air stations have been attempted, but this Radio Heritage Foundation radio station guide is the most extensive because it includes every known LPFM station to have broadcast in over ten years.

LPFM radio reflects a unique part of NZ's radio heritage. Much like the early days of radio, anyone could go on air. The enthusiasm of a new generation to start their own stations, broadcast their own music and views, and find a space on the airwaves has been startling and successful.

The Radio Heritage Foundation's exclusive LPFM Radio Guide helps tell these stories. Soon station operators will be able to update their listings and keep everyone informed of latest changes and news.

The Radio Guide is searchable by frequency, radio market and brand name of the station. You'll be surprised how many stations have been on the air.

Station owners are invited to contact the Radio Heritage Foundation for access to this blog so you can post what's hot and happening in your neighbourhood.

For now, enjoy the most complete LPFM Radio Guide anywhere, and watch for station news, profiles and more.

(All images © Radio Heritage Foundation Collection)