Broadcast licenses are increasingly hard to come by, considering the crowded bands and 1980s deregulation that allows a few corporations to own the majority of radio stations.
But smaller, independent voices are still being heard.
The FCC is currently accepting - possibly for the last time - applications for LPFM stations, non-commercial low power FM operations owned by community groups, churches and educational facilities.
After last month's government shutdown, the FCC extended the application deadline to November 14, which is great news for the Prometheus Radio Project, which promotes LPFM and helps interested groups prepare their FCC applications.
"Our vision is a country with hundreds of community controlled multimedia institutions throughout urban and rural areas that reflect and respond to the needs of their communities," Prometheus says on its website.
More than 800 LPFM stations have been licensed since the program began 12 years ago, and that number could double or triple, Prometheus predicts.
The latest LPFM filing window didn't come easily or overnight.
Opponents, including the powerful National Association of Broadcasters, claimed LPFM can cause interference to their stations, especially in urban areas with larger radio markets.
Others argued that preference should be given to low power translators, which relay the commercial programming of other stations in a form of simulcasting.
FM translators, some have argued, could be the salvation of AM radio in the future.
The debate was settled in 2011, when President Obama signed the Local Community Radio Act, ensuring that LPFM isn't a victim of overly stringent interference restrictions, and that LPFM remains reserved for genuine non-profit groups with no other holdings in radio.
Prometheus Radio Project summarizes the current rules as follows: "Your organization must have a board of directors and it must be a local organization.
"Either 75 percent of your board members must live within 10 miles of your proposed transmitter location (20 miles outside the top 50 markets) or your physical headquarters must be within 10 miles of the proposed transmitter location (20 miles outside the top 50 markets).
"Once on the air, you must broadcast at least five hours each day, broadcast emergency alerts, and keep your equipment running within the technical guidelines set by the FCC. "
In Connecticut, FCC records show four existing LPFM licenses, located in Niantic, Higganum, Ledyard and Enfield. They include a church, a science group, and a community college.
John Ramsey, a radio engineer, historian and author of the Arcadia publication "Hartford Radio," is a firm believer in the LPFM movement, and thinks several new stations could hit the Connecticut airwaves.
"Non-commercial stations in general, and LPFM stations in particular, are in a unique position to 'narrowcast', that is, to provide programming to small segments of society that are not served by the commercial broadcasting interests," Ramsey told Examiner.com.
In addition, LPFM stations can present differing viewpoints without worrying about advertisers, or musical genres that have a strong following but are not available on commercial radio, he said.
Ramsey helped design and launch WACC-LP at Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, and is working on another community application.
What's the cost?
LPFM stations have been started for as little as $15,000, but the average is probably twice that.
A lot of used equipment is available, and with guidance from a broadcast engineer, volunteer labor can be used to build studios and offices, Ramsey said.
FCC guidelines, information and an LPFM application form are available at the official FCC website.