Tag Archives | FCC

FCC To Put 1,000 Low-Power FM Frequencies Up For Grabs For Community Radio

low-power FMWhat would you do with your own community radio station? It’s your chance to snap one up this fall! Nation of Change writes:

The FCC has just released free applications for thousands of new noncommercial FM radio licenses. These community radio stations can reach listeners in a radius of 2 to 10 miles, and generate their broadcast signal on just 100 watts—the amount of power consumed by a light bulb.

In some cities a single low power FM station could reach more than 100,000 listeners. Across the country, millions of people will be tuning into these new stations as they go on air over the next few years.

This is the largest expansion of community radio in United States history. It’s also the biggest chance, and probably the final major opportunity, for grassroots groups to get on air.

Philly-based nonprofit Prometheus Radio Project has led a 15-year campaign to challenge corporate control of the media and open up this space on the dial.

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Obama in Plunderland: Down the Corporate Rabbit Hole

Zuckerberg meets ObamaThe president’s new choices for Commerce secretary and FCC chair underscore how far down the rabbit hole his populist conceits have tumbled. Yet the Obama rhetoric about standing up for working people against “special interests” is as profuse as ever. Would you care for a spot of Kool-Aid at the Mad Hatter’s tea party?

Of course the Republican economic program is worse, and President Romney’s policies would have been even more corporate-driven. That doesn’t in the slightest make acceptable what Obama is doing. His latest high-level appointments — boosting corporate power and shafting the public — are despicable.

To nominate Penny Pritzker for secretary of Commerce is to throw in the towel for any pretense of integrity that could pass a laugh test. Pritzker is “a longtime political supporter and heavyweight fundraiser,” the Chicago Tribune reported with notable understatement last week, adding: “She is on the board of Hyatt Hotels Corp., which was founded by her family and has had rocky relations with labor unions, and she could face questions about the failure of a bank partly owned by her family.… Read the rest

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FCC Commissioner, Meredith Attwell Baker, Who Approved Comcast-NBC Universal Merger, Leaving to Join Comcast

Meredith Attwell BakerEdward Wyatt writes in the NY Times Media Decoder:

Four months after the Federal Communications Commission approved a hotly contested merger of Comcast and NBC Universal, one of the commissioners who voted for the deal said on Wednesday that she would soon join Comcast’s Washington lobbying office.

Meredith Attwell Baker, a former Commerce Department official who worked on telecommunications issues in George W. Bush’s administration, announced that she would leave the F.C.C. when her term expires at the end of June. At Comcast, she will serve as senior vice president for government affairs for NBC Universal, which Comcast acquired in January.

The announcement drew immediate criticism from some groups that had opposed the Comcast-NBC merger. They said the move was indicative of an ethically questionable revolving door between regulatory agencies and the companies they oversee.

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Public Finally Gets Some Airwaves Back: Congress Passes Local Community Radio Act

Support Low Power FM!Finally, Congress passes the Local Community Radio Act, which has been sitting on the shelves for 10 years. The public finally gets some of its airwaves back. Reports Reclaim The Media:

With the clock ticking toward the end of this year’s Congress, the Senate on Saturday passed a new law which will enable community groups, churches and schools across the country to establish new non-commercial, low-power FM radio stations in their cities and towns.

The Local Community Radio Act, which will allow the FCC to issue possibly thousands of new noncommercial LPFM radio licenses, earned broad, bipartisan support after some ten years of organizing by grassroots media democracy advocates from coast to coast. Backers of the bill included a stupefying range of civil rights groups, religious organizations, musicians, unions and garage-bound radio dreamers around the country.

The FCC initially created the Low power FM service radio in 2002, as a way to counter the dramatic consolidation of radio ownership which followed the 1996 Telecommunications Act, and the resulting drop in diverse programming and local voices.

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FCC Commissioner Blasts “Bloated Profits” of Verizon/Google Internet Plan

Verizon/GoogleFCC Commissioner Michael Copps just announced that the public shouldn’t stand for deals “that exchange Internet freedom for bloated profits. And he forcefully mocked the tiered-data plans of the “Verizon-Google gaggle,” accusing them of wanting “gated communities for the affluent.”

Instead of letting Verizon create a ghetto of reduced-quality internet service, the commissioner warns the audience against proposals that would “vastly diminish” the internet’s importance, blasting “special interests and gatekeepers and toll-booth collectors who will short-circuit what this great new technology can do for our country.” He concludes by acknowledging that “you can’t blame companies for seeking to protect their own interests. But you can blame policy-makers if we let them get away with it!””… Read the rest

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FCC May Allow You To Text 911

If you’re unable to speak during an emergency, but still have access to your cell phone, you will soon be able to send a text, picture or video to 911. Although, until 911 dispatchers are up to date with technology you still need to pick up the phone and dial a real operator. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Here’s a public safety message: You can’t text 911.

Not yet, anyway. The Federal Communications Commission says that shortcoming was evident during the Virginia Tech massacre. Students and witnesses tried texting 911 for help. But those texts went unanswered because call centers can’t accept texts or photos.

That doesn’t appear likely to change any time soon, but the government now says it’s ready to explore the possibility of making 911 go mobile. FCC Commissioner Julius Genachowski announced today that the commission will hold a Next Generation 911 proceeding in December, the first step in an inquiry process that will determine states’ capabilities and financing requirements for updating the system.

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Pirate Radio Cranks Up the Volume for Documentary

Pirate Radio USAVia Joe Nolan’s Insomnia:

Hello friends. This weekend I discovered an entertaining and eye-opening pirate radio documentary online: Pirate Radio USA.

Given the post-Clinton legalization of media monopolies, the subject of pirate radio has once again become a hot-button topic. Pirate radio broadcasters use homemade technologies to take over radio frequencies, broadcasting without licenses, outside of FCC rules and regulations.

Pirate radio has become a form of civil disobedience. The various subjects of the documentary fight directly against the corporate media by simply “stealing” FM bandwidth to broadcast their radical, rocking messages. Of course, the irony is that the airwaves above the United States are owned exclusively by the public.

How can you steal what you already own?

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