Part 15 – FCC assault on micro-broadcasting.
Posted on July 10, 2010
The recent decision by the federal government (FCC/OET) regarding Ken Cartright’s operation in Stayton, Oregon has put a chill on micro-broadcasting for all who participate. One could assume that this rules enforcement net will extend to other transmitter manufacturers and operators.
A recent offering on the web puts the real issue front and center in the discussion:
[LPAM] Re: KENC & The FCC
From: firstname.lastname@example.org on behalf of Jeffrey (email@example.com)
Sent: Fri 7/09/10 7:45 PM
“From this development, it is becoming increasingly evident that the notion we all originally entertained – that it is possible to create a legal, license free, 100 milliwatt micro-service on AM that would be totally kosher with the FCC, and we would all be left alone – was unfortunately, a collective illusion ( ….with all due respect to pioneering sites like part15.us and hobbybroadcaster.org.)
I wish there was the time, money and means to lobby the FCC to FINALLY empower we individuals and create a “hobby class” of FCC license, perhaps 1 watt or a half watt on both bands, with no antenna/ground restrictions (for the sake of simplicity) and just leave it at that. It’s also time we finally make the term “pirate broadcaster” obsolete on the AM and FM bands in this country.
A few years ago, the FCC allowed a proposal for a 25 or 50 watt LPAM service to fall into limbo. The least they can do at this point is allow a 1 watt or half watt hobby service. But of course, I’m not holding my breath. As we all know, they take seriously corporate broadcasters, NPR, and even Prometheus and the “non-profit” groups and committees that outfit so reveres. But us? No way because we can’t be easily controlled.” -firstname.lastname@example.org
Discussing and debating the correctness of the government and its agents decisions at this point is pointless. Every time a Part 15 “broadcast” station is turned off, we all lose regardless of the reasoning. If someone could explain how this makes us better at what we do and promotes the use of the public spectrum trust, you have found a willing listener. Please make your suggestions civil and truly useful, not the same old illusory opining.
Should the FCC continue on this track for the foreseeable future, how is ” the collective illusion” bringing us closer to acceptance and rule compliance? Will this result in the death knell of Part 15 community micro-broadcasting? I would suggest the end of such a service to many neighborhoods and communities does not enrich our lives or the lives of others.
Are there concrete assurances that operating some other kit transmitter or certified and manufactured unit won’t be the next government enforcement target? The Rangemaster is in the cross-hairs currently. And, I hope you would agree Keith Hamilton and Ken Cartright have made a good faith effort to move the ball toward the goal line of acceptance and compliance.
Yes we need a common voice that can take the message to the government that an AM micro-broadcasting service should be legal and have simple and consistent standards of operation. LPFM has just such a voice and it’s expanding…slowly. However, our independence has become our greatest foible. “-Because we can’t be easily controlled” is the exact reason we cannot gain the ears of law makers and agency wonks.
Over the past few years, I have read hundreds and thousands of opinions from folks in the U.S. and Canada regarding Part 15 and micro-broadcasting issues. Most of it has been civil. I have read the mathematical calculations and the science of radio well beyond most readers. It has not changed the result of practical application very much, if any. Message sent, message NOT received.
It is conceivable, Part 15 community micro-broadcasting does not have a future. And maybe, in reality, it never did.
Most hobbyists really could care less about community wide micro-broadcasting. Their OTR or NWX programs, DIY projects and antique radios are the reasons they even read most postings. These folks are not interested in moving the micro-power broadcasting effort forward. What will they gain? As along as they can hear their transmitter in their own radios and not produce interference, that is good enough. Part 15 micro-broadcasting for some is counter to their purposes.
After 5 decades of being in love with the harlot called radio, I find some satisfaction and comfort in accomplishment and fond memories. Even if I walk away, the memories will continue. CW McCall said, “Memories are like star light, they go on forever.” And even if Part 15 broadcasting never really happens, the memories will go on.
These are my feelings about where I am and we are. And I have learned not to argue with how people feel. My feelings represent the truth for me. How about you?