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I think the argument has to go something like this.
Part 15 broadcasters are not a threat to existing radio stations. Because we don’t do what they do.
Licensed broadcasters are very concerned these days about listeners abandoning the radio dial. And rightly so. There are so many alternatives.
Part 15 broadcasters with a greater coverage range will bring back some of those listeners to radio. Listeners that likely would have sought out the programming that they wanted elsewhere. And if they’re listening to the radio, then there’s the chance that they’ll spin the tuning dial (figuratively, anyway) and check out what else is around.
So, Part 15 broadcasters won’t take away listeners. They’ll bring them back, and potentially help the licensed broadcasters as well. Bettering radio overall.
And also helping the FCC fulfill one of its mandates for the the betterment of radio.
There will have to be technical studies done on the increased levels of potential interference that will occur, but realistically, I don’t think that will be a problem. Here’s the argument for that.
Part 15 signals are very, very weak. If increased coverage is obtained, they will still be very weak. It is far more likely that licensed radio stations will interfere with Part 15 signals rather than the other way around. Particularly with the crappy radios around today, which have poor selectivity and adjancent channel signal rejection. That interference reduces the already limited range that even a boosted Part 15 signal will have. No true Part 15 operator wants that, and will go out of their way to reduce the interference they receive to as little as possible – thus reducing the off chance that their signal will interfere with licensed stations. It really is and will be self-regulating to a large degree.
Plus, most Part 15 operators are truely professional in attempting to stay within the rules. Currently, the only interference I’ve ever run across (other than blatant pirates) has been from yahoos who buy illegal, overpowered transmitters off e-bay, don’t know what they’re doing, and blast away (because they’re only interested in getting a signal around their house). You have just as much of a problem for that kind of situation today, and increasing Part 15 coverage areas isn’t going to make the situation any worse.
Anyway, I’m sure those arguments can be improved upon, but I believe the tenants are sound.