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FM Translator Coverage

  •     The number of FM translators providing public radio service increased 145 percent during the reporting period, from approximately 300 in 1989 to 739 currently.

  • The population receiving public radio only through a FM translator at the 60 dBu level is 3,137,650, or slightly over 1 percent of the U.S. population.

  • The 24 states west of the Mississippi River contain 579 translators which provide sole public radio service to 2,011,996 people.

  • There are 160 translators in the states east of the Mississippi River which provide sole public radio service to 1,125,654 people.

  • The five states with the largest populations served solely by translators are:  Pennsylvania (387,858), Colorado (232,392), Utah (220,287), Indiana (194,749) and Arizona (182,786).

  • We emphasize that many of the translators included in this study provide an additional service to an area which is also served by another translator or another full-power station. We have not calculated the total number of people who can receive a FM translator or the number of people who can receive a FM translator and another service.  The populations cited in the above bullets are only those people who rely on FM translators for their only public radio service.

  • We must note that translators operate at low power in both the reserved and non-reserved frequencies and are not protected by the FCC.  Therefore, they may be displaced as full-power stations acquire or change frequencies.
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