Outgoing Amherst Alliance president Don Schellhardt breaks things down micro-legislatively with regard to S.2505, the Low Power Radio Act. He also notes that Senator Maria Cantwell has introduced promised leigslation to protect certain “Class D” old-style LPFM stations from being bumped off the air. That bill, the “Educational Radio Protection Act,” currently has no sponsors.
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.
On Friday Senator John McCain (R-AZ), along with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced a bill to restore the FCC’s original vision of LPFM. My favorite line from the text of the legislation (S. 2505) is, “After years and the expenditure of $2,193,343 in taxpayer dollars to conduct [a study on interference involving LPFM stations], the broadcasters’ concerns were demonstrated to be unsubstantiated.”
Now we shall see if it moves. Promises kept in word are one thing; deeds are quite different, especially in D.C.