Kind of a big day for “the public interest” – in a 2-1 decision yesterday the Philadelphia-based Third Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the implementation of several media ownership rule changes made by the Federal Communications Commission last year. However, it did not do so because the court thought they were necessarily bad rules.
Four years ago, when the National Association of Broadcasters and National Public Radio successfully convinced Congress to significantly scale back the FCC’s new LPFM service, grassroots media activists weren’t packing much heat on the Hill.
It’s been a productive four years: 400+ LPFM stations are now on the air with more in the pipeline and dedicated lobbyists in Washington willing to push for an LPFM revival.
The FCC’s ongoing project to approve the use of powerlines as data infrastructure grinds on, and the initial public comment period on this rulemaking ends next Tuesday. It would’ve closed months ago if not for a short extension of time (granted at the request of the Amherst Alliance and National Antenna Consortium) to digest the latest technical studies on the plan, released just three weeks ago.
BPL technology sounds wonderful but is a massive interference generator, literally wiping out several amateur and shortwave frequency-swaths. Yet the FCC seems relatively determined to bring it on regardless.