Last week, the FCC officially proposed making low-power FM stations a legal part of the radio dial. The statement in itself doesn’t give too many details as to what this broadcast service will look like, except in the most general of forms. When the official text becomes available, expect notice here.
An interesting little email has cropped up among microradio activists recently.
It stems from the recent bust and arrest of the operators of Black Cat Radio in Memphis, TN. The station ops weren’t arrested for the actual act of unlicensed broadcasting, but rather for jacking into the University of Memphis‘ electrical system to to power their transmitter as they broadcast from a parking garage on campus.
The email allegedly came from the U.S. Department of Justice, and it’s reproduced in its entirety below:
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.
Support for low-power broadcasting is growing and gaining some political ground.
The following is a move in the right direction – Michigan’s legislature is considering resolutions in both houses advocating the legalization of a low-power broadcast service. Not surprisingly, the state’s broadcasting association jumped on the defensive. Here’s the texts from everyone involved.
Michigan State House Resolution No. 379
Reps. Freeman, Baade, Ciaramitaro, Kelly, Tesanovich, Profit, Dobronski, Prusi, Gubow, Kukuk, Bodem, Godchaux, Leland, Olshove, Harder, Hale, Brater, Parks, Anthony, Scranton, Schermesser, Martinez, Kilpatrick, Bogardus, Jelinek, Scott, DeHart, Basham, Willard, Baird, Murphy, Birkholz, Richner, LaForge, Quarles, Hanley, Cherry and Varga
By Ted M. Coopman
Disclaimer: Broadcasting without a license is a violation of Federal law. Those convicted of illegally broadcasting may face fines of more than $10,000 and up to one year in jail per incident. The author does not encourage any illegal activity nor does he accept any liability for the consequences of the use of the information contained in this article. The reader uses this information at her/his own risk. For more information concerning the penalties for unlicensed broadcasting contact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
So, You Want to Free the Airwaves?
If you have gotten this far and found this article, I am assuming you know about the Micro Broadcasting Movement and are seriously considering participating. If not, you will want to check out Radio4all for links and detailed information about the Free Communications Movement and micro radio. For deeper background, you may wish to access my master’s thesis on micro radio. This article does not encourage participating in micro radio (although I am on record as supporting the goals of the Free Communications Movement); it simply provides information gathered through researching the Micro Radio Movement and the FCC. I wrote this article to help individuals considering participating in micro radio make informed decisions.