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Thanks for the detailed and informative reply to my question regarding public outcry. Since my previous post, I was able to find several stories in videos on youtube regarding “pirate radio”. Anyone interested in this should watch some of them. A couple of them showed local public officials protesting the raids.
It seems to me that from the Communications Act of 1934 to the present the main driving force in restricting unlicensed radio transmission by the common folks is to prevent an undercutting of the revenue stream of the licensed operators. Witness that amateur radio operators are not allowed to handle messages for money or of pecuniary interest. This was done to prevent hams from handling traffic which would otherwise be done by commercial companies such as Western Union. Technically, hams cannot legally call a cab using autopatch.
The other aspect, often cited, is the potential for interference to other operations. This is valid, but given modern technology low power transmitters are capable of producing clean signals and as long as they do not “step on” another station’s signal there should be no problem. For example, we are allowed to use 4 watts on AM in the CB as long as the transceiver is certified and not modified. The same approach could be used for unlicensed broadcast equipment.
Part 15 operation in the broadcast bands was never intended to permit “broadcasting”. It was for “phono oscillator” uses similar to the XM and IPOD FM units we can purchase…short range intended only for linking to a quality audio system for playback.
Perhaps rather than modifying the part 15 rules it would be better to write new rules specifically providing for low power “neighborcasting” yet the threat to commercial interests, real or not, would still have to be overcome.