Gaining Speed

1999’s gotten off to quite an active start for low-power broadcasting in the United States. While a real rule finally legalizing small FM stations remains months (if not years) away, it seems both sides in the battle are taking no chances in getting off to a slow start.

The bad guys are wasting no time attacking the proposed rulemaking and enlisting congressional support as much as possible. The National Association of Broadcasters has named the members of its “Spectrum Integrity Task Force,” who, as a means of public service, I’m providing the names of for your perusal and consideration: Read More

The Brewing Congressional Conflict

On the heels of Louisiana Congressweasel Billy Tauzin’s move to squash the LPFM service currently under development at the FCC, those in favor of low-power broadcasting on Capitol Hill aren’t sitting by and watching Tauzin’s tantrum without action. Representative David Bonior, Democrat of Michigan, is now circulating a draft letter to other Representatives in support of the FCC’s work, and plans to send it to the FCC on Wednesday, March 10.

This is a perfect opportunity to pre-empt Tauzin’s moves to kill low-power radio stations, provided Bonior can show enough signatures at the bottom of the letter. The strength is in numbers here – if the FCC has some sort of token nod from a large segment (or, perish the thought, a majority) of the House of Representatives, Chairman Kennard and the rest of the Commissioners would be sent a message that the “will of the people” is behind their actions. It could also send a nice, subtle message to Rep. Tauzin to back off. Read More

An Enemy End Run

In submarine battle tactics there is a maneuver called an “end run,” where a submarine basically either speeds up or slows down to maneuvers into a prime shooting position out of the detection range of its quarry.

It’s an attempt by someone to end the game by throwing out the rules; to get the drop on the enemy before they even have a chance to do anything about it.

An end run is happening right now in the form of Louisiana Congressman Billy Tauzin. He’s a Republican who the NAB has in its pocket – his daughter even works for them. Read More

It’s Only Just Begun

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.

In a nutshell, these are the basics of legal LPFM as currently envisioned: Read More

1998=1984?

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: Read More