Home › Forums › temp › “Low Power” means different things in different places › It’s A Different Story In The West! We Like To Revolt!
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“Given your experience what makes you think there will be a “public outcry” if the FCC clamps down on part 15″
When the FCC raided a community radio station in Santa Cruz, the community came unglued with protest and few flat tires on agent cars. Even local city and law enforcement got involved, with their open disgust for the FCC’s actions. People are becoming more aware of the loss of local radio here in California, especially in communities like Tehachapi where both stations are programmed from out of town broadcasters and have directed the signals away from the COL, There are places in Tehachapi where you can look at the transmitter site and still not be able to get a signal. I had a long talk with the mayor on the issue; they don’t like the fact they have no way of communicating with the public in the event of a train derailment or prison break. They especially don’t like the fact the stations refuse to do anything for the community. Clear Channel owned 103.1FM, which is licensed to the city of Tehachapi, told a mayor they don’t want anything to do with Tehachapi and that, was before they turned it into a repeater for a Los Angeles station.
There are hundreds of communities like Tehachapi, up and down the west coast that do to the mountainous terrain have little to no FM radio reception, and very noisy AM signals and are glad to have someone come in and fill the void by starting a local radio station. Even local law enforcement appreciates having the use of these stations during emergencies. A 100-milliwatt FM radio station is a godsend for some communities that have nothing else to listen too. Some operate as mini repeaters to bring stations on the other side of the mountains into the valleys, with the ability to go live in an emergency.
To help with our cause, we have done an extensive public awareness program; demonstrating and educating the public as to what micro power broadcasting is all about and how their communities can benefit from such stations without causing interference to other radio stations. The people that see our demonstration get it! They understand because of IBOC they can no longer listen to KDWN in the High Desert, or because of a move in or out they can no longer listen to a station they liked when they drive to the city because the move in or out interferes with it or the signal is gone from the move out. The folks also get the wild claims of interference by micro powered broadcasters are nothing more than scare tactics the NAB uses and are without merit.
The public of all ages out west are very aware of the loss of local radio, and how micro radio stations can help fill the void. At the same time they like the fact it gives the younger folks something positive to do with their time. I feel and hear the anger growing over the state of radio as it has become. It’s not just the younger folks; it’s the elderly too. Retirement centers are tickled pink when we help set up a radio station that plays the music they like along with the old radio shows, they would notice if someone tried to take it away from them and would become rather hostile.
Broadcasters we have talked too, have no objections to these little stations coming into the communities they cannot serve. Most educated broadcasters understand the need for these communities to be served with something and know they are not going to affect their revenue stream.
If it’s not Part 15, then a new class of broadcasting needs to be created like there is in New Zealand. In the past, the FCC has tried to raise the power for unlicensed broadcasting to 1 watt, including adding a second FM band that was considered for the 200Mhz band with an emphasis on public radio. I don’t need to tell you who shot both ideals down! The NAB of coarse!
The more responsible micro broadcasters we have on the air, the more it helps boaster our case that these stations cause less interference and danger to the listening public than a CFL or dimmer switch; while providing a valuable community service at the same time.
The fact that there are thousands of low power transmitters AM & FM on the air already is a good start to help prove our case. For me a micro-powered broadcaster operates with less than 400 milliwatts TPO AM or FM; but 1 watt would help in rural areas
I do think if a user of a micro transmitter intentionally interferes with a licensed radio station, public safety or programs or uses foul language where children might hear it; then let them be fined and suffer the consequences. But to deny thousands of local communities from having a local radio station is also totally unreasonable; especially where it can affect public safety. The NAB. can’t have their cake and eat it too; take a station, leave a station!
The current Part 15 rules are completely outdated when it comes to unlicensed broadcasting. If New Zealand is able to come up with a practical solution, then certainly we should be able too. It was public pressure that brought about change in New Zealand, and that is what it will take here. If it were not for intense public pressure in a form of a mass revolt, we would all still be stuck driving 55 MPH across the desert. Congress did not all of a sudden decide to lift the 55; they were forced into just like they are being forced into taking a second look at the outrageous fees CARP wanted from small Ma & Pa streaming broadcasters.
Sometimes a revolt is necessary for the poor folks to get the Governments attention; I remember an old tea party in Boston that that worked out pretty good for us. Since high priced lobbyists are out of the budget for most of us, a revolt is the next best thing to get ridiculous laws changed. The part 15 FM rules are the most outdated and need to be loosened up a bit or create a new broadcast class. Just think of how good it would be for the economy with the mass business & job creation around the nation that would result from it; from new transmitters, antenna and solar manufactures to radio host to fill the airwaves and everything in between.
Sometimes it’s good for the rebels to revolt and stand up to an out of control or misguided government. I know a recent revolt even got the attention of the Icelandic government, when the heads of state gave it up and walked out.
Lets not forget it was rebel broadcasters that proved a need for and got LPFM, Micro broadcasters can help fill in another much needed void. The government never hears from a silent and complacent public, and laws are never changed without a good protest.
Public awareness is critical to our success in changing the rules:
First thing we do during our demonstration; is prove that Micro broadcasting is safe and will not cause harmful interference when used properly. Once people have those concerned resolved, in most cases they express concern (outage) that the government and the NAB would lie to them, using scare and fear tactics to make their phony case. Image if we could perform our demonstration nationwide the influence we would have not only with the general public but also with local community leaders. One thing I have learned in our travels; is the fact the public does not like it when the government lies to them, especially solely to benefit an origination like the NAB.
Regarding 10 watts in Norway: I got my information from a former member who would spend his summers in Norway visiting family and checked it out with the government there. The only loophole is you are not allowed to say anything bad about the government, violating that rule brings swift action. Apparently Norwegians are a little sensitive about their King!
In the USA sometimes you have to remind the government who the boss is!
Thanks to a 5 & 6 year old, this has only taken five hours to write.