LPFM Bill Stalled in Senate

An unknown number of Republican Senators have placed a hold on the Local Community Radio Act.

For those not up on the intricacies of our corrupt political system, Senators have the privilege of placing an indefinite pause on action of any legislation they deem to be “detrimental” to their constituents. Oftentimes, Senate holds are used as favors to well-moneyed constituents or as bargaining chips. Read More

Sending All the Wrong Signals

Perhaps it really is “thanks for the memories” when it comes to the issue of network neutrality. In the wake of a federal court decision in May striking down the FCC’s authority to impose neutrality principles on broadband service providers, a well-organized and -funded corporate and astroturf campaign seems to have turned political momentum on the issue around – away from re-implementing the principle as a point of law.

Last month, members of Congress held two closed-door meetings with representatives of the broadband services industries about whether or not to re-write the Telecommunications Act of 1996. A major point of discussion was the principle of network neutrality, and what to do with it. Read More

LPFM: Thanks For The Memories?

Much was made last year of the Local Community Radio Act’s passage in the House of Representatives. But since then, no news: what’s going on?

As you may have heard, most of the telecom-policy wonk-world is all agog with the FCC’s promulgation of a National Broadband Plan. Some have felt, since Chairman Julius Genachowski took the helm of the agency, that he’d be much more focused on “new” media than “old.” This seems to be playing itself out to some degree. Read More

LPFM: Better Luck Next Year

The first session of the 111th Congress is now in the bag, and with it – temporarily – the hopes of a restoration of the FCC’s low-power FM (LPFM) radio service to its original scale and scope as devised by the FCC in 2000.

The Local Community Radio Act passed the House, but never made it to the Senate floor for a vote. Fortunately, bills only die at the end of the Congressional year, not between sessions; meaning, theoretically, when the Senate reconvenes next month it could quickly hold a vote and send the bill to President Obama for signature. Read More

LPFM’s Elephant In the Room

I was heartened to see that the requisite committees of the House of Representatives and Senate have both endorsed complementary bills that would expand the FCC’s low-power FM (LPFM) service toward votes on the floors of the respective chambers. Those working the issue in D.C. are very optimistic that Congress will pass both versions of the Local Community Radio Act, harmonize them, and send a version to President Obama by the end of this Congressional session.

But it’s not yet time to break out the champagne just yet. There are three reasons for this: Read More