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.
As he stews in his own political juice, with Congress breathing down his neck, FCC Chairman Mikey Powell can use all the friends he can get. One would assume those friends would include the business/finance community, seeing as how Powell’s a fervent acolyte for their religion.
Think again: BusinessWeek magazine published this piece online yesterday, which is a pretty straightforward indictment of Powell, ending with,
“Powell refused to make a public case for the merits of his proposal. Then, he skewed the data to try to fool people. Plenty of other telecommunications policy experts have the political skills to handle the FCC job less contentiously than Powell. He should leave, before he’s shown the door.”
Everybody owes a round of thanks and praise to the Prometheus Radio Project, who filed an emergency petition to stop the implementation of the FCC’s media ownership rule changes, which were scheduled to go into effect tomorrow. After a two-hour hearing in Philadelphia today a three-judge panel of the 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals granted the stay, suspending all rule changes until Prometheus’ case gets a proper hearing on its merits.
In a three-page decision, after deferring a chance to predict the success of Prometheus’ challenge to the media ownership rules, the court agreed that the challenge deserved full consideration before the rule changes were implemented, especially “given the magnitude of this matter and the public’s interest in reaching the proper resolution.”
With low power FM mostly confined to the hinterlands, activists interested in expanding access to the airwaves are looking at other areas of the electromagnetic spectrum to squat. Kyle Drake has been reading some interesting stuff about the use of wireless networks operating at low powers with large coverage areas in the frequencies above one gigahertz (1 GHz).
In order to spur discussions on the idea of creating a new “citizen’s broadcast band (CBB),” Kyle’s set up a simple web forum. So far, a few are kicking the tires on the concept in a positive light, approaching the proposal from multiple perspectives. Not all think heading into such high-frequency territory is the solution – but it’s the thought that counts. Contribute yours!