Slightly old news, but mention-worthy nonetheless: the FCC last week reversed its decision allowing a commercial station to move its transmitter to a location that would force an Oregon high school to close down its Class D (30 watt) FM outlet. The short announcement did not specify a reason, but it’s not a difficult one to discern (read: negative publicity for an already-maligned agency). KMIH-FM is not out of the clear just yet, though – the FCC always has the authority to change its mind once again if it so chooses. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t get stupid (again).
As groups get organized and prepare to apply for an LPFM license when the first opportunities come around in May, opposition to the new service is growing and attacking from multiple directions.
There are three threats which pose significant immediate danger to the new LPFM service. Each one is unique, and each one could shut the service down before it even starts.
The first threat is Congress. Rep. Mike Oxley’s (R-OH) “Radio Broadcasting Preservation Act of 1999” continues to draw more co-sponsors; it’s very likely that by the end of February, anti-LPFM forces will have mustered over half the votes they need to get the bill through the House of Representatives.
If you spin the radio dial to the very bottom of the FM band in Anchorage, Alaska – and then go a little lower – you’ll find a pleasant surprise. There’s a radio station there.
Broadcasting on 87.7 MHz with 920 watts of power, KZND ‘The End’ is causing quite a stir in Anchorage. It was first stumbled upon by an intrepid newspaper columnist and offers “alternative music” to the masses.
But the KZND is out-of-bounds. The FCC says any FM radio station must fall on a frequency between 88 and 108 MHz, and must have a minimum broadcast power of 100 watts. KZND, by broadcasting on 87.7, falls outside the parameters the FCC allows for legal radio broadcasting.
The following is a report from scouts at the National Lawyer’s Guild’s Committee on Democratic Communications; they went to Washington recently to gauge support for a low power radio legalization effort.
Call To Action
We now have an historic opportunity (ok, its a cheap political phrase) to influence communications policy in the U.S. The window of opportunity is NOW! Believe me– I have talked with a number of people in D.C.– we need to BOMBARD the FCC RIGHT NOW with a massive show of support. We need to show them that the unlicensed micros are serious about wanting a legalized system and we need to show that it has Congressional support.
RM-9208 PETITIONERS ASK FCC FOR SUSPENSION OF PROSECUTIONS
by Don Schellhardt
The RM-9208 Petitioners (Nick Leggett, Judith Leggett and Don Schellhardt) ask the Federal Communications Commission for a suspension of microbroadcasting prosecutions.
EXCERPTS FROM THE LEGGETT/SCHELLHARDT SPECIAL COMMENTS
We ask the Commission to take the following steps:
1. Suspend all ongoing microbroadcasting prosecutions until such time as the Commission has: (a) adopted a final rule which legalizes some or all microbroadcasting stations; OR (b) decided and announced that it will not legalize any such stations.