FCC Seeks Summary Judgment in radio free brattleboro Case

According to this article in the Brattleboro Reformer, the FCC spent the last 15 months ignoring judge J. Garvan Murtha’s concerns about the lack of local access to the airwaves. That’s why he denied the agency’s request for a temporary injunction against rfb in the first place.

Instead, the best assistant U.S. Attorney Michael P. Drescher can come up with, apparently, is “we don’t give out licenses to 10-watt stations, therefore radio free brattleboro must not broadcast.” Which is not exactly true: the FCC’s LPFM service contains a provision for so-called “LP-10” stations that would broadcast with 10 watts or less, but it has never solicited applications for LP-10 stations. How can a station acquire a license the FCC maintains on its books but refuses to issue? Read More

FCC Stymied in Brattleboro Court

A hearing was held today on the FCC’s motion for an injunction to silence radio free brattleboro.

The FCC argued that broadcasting without a license is against the law. radio free brattleboro’s attorneys pointed to the incredible amount of local support and the fact that (as of now) the FCC offers no licenses to FM radio stations of 10 watts or less.

Judge J. Garvan Murtha was apparently influenced by the strong community support for and logic behind the station’s concerns. He denied the FCC’s motion for an injunction and – similar to the FCC v. (Stephen) Dunifer case of the mid-90s – asked both sides for further briefs. Those are due in 45 days. Read More

radio free brattleboro Wins Symbolic Community Endorsement; Gilligan Goes LPFM

Voters in Brattleboro, VT went to the polls on March 2 and by a margin of nearly two to one voted to support their microradio station in its struggle for “official legitimacy.”

For what it’s worth, the local paper ended up endorsing the station, too. The court activity is still at the tentative stage, each side having filed papers asking a federal judge to shut the other up. Read More