(AND NOTHIN' ON)"
Could radio possibly get any worse?
Unfortunately, if the powers of monopoly win (The "Broadcast
Trusts") they have plans that will destroy small independent and college
and community radio stations.
As if that was not bad enough, they will make you
the privelege of having even less programming choice!
They plan to force you to buy new digital recievers
whether you are impressed with a slight increase in sound quality or not!
Even if you don't notice that increased sound quality
over the wind and road noise and thus don't care!
Even if the radio cuts in and out all the time like
a digital cell-phone!
How is all this done, the death of community radio?
By forcing broadcasters to "go digital" ... in a way
that will force the end of all analog (regular) FM radio stations
This new evil plot for world domination is called IBOC
(like some horrible bird of a fantasy-horror novel).
IBOC stands for In Band On Channel.
It means that the Big Broadcast Trust (mega-corporations
like Clear Channel and Jacor) and their henchmen (lobbyists), the National
Association of Broadcasters (NAB) are planning to "fatten" their existing
stations use of the public airwaves by twice as much as they use now.
They will then run their digital signal down the "subcarriers",
the parts of the FM dial to the left and right of their regular analog
stereo signal, like sidesaddles.
Then they will require that everyone turn off the analog
parts and become full-time digital!
Problem 1: This is the space that the new community
radio stations that the FCC created with the "Low Power Radio Service"
otherwise used to bring new artists and news and talk and other musical
forms to the big cities. This is the space the LPRS stations
used to become "fiscally viable" (able to pay to stay on the air) by reaching
out to a larger audience (those listening in apartment buildings and offices.)
Problem 2: The smaller existing college and community
radio stations will not be able to afford the conversion. You will never
hear from them again!
Problem 3: The Broadcasting Trust's technology (IBOC)
does not work well for portable radios, only sounds slightly better
(if you don't mind it sounding like a digital PCS cellphone) , buffers
constantly like an Internet "real Audio" station and will bring you (wow!)
advertisements on the front diplay of your radio. That's their idea of
Why does the Broadcast Trusts claim they need IBOC?
"To be Competitive."
They claim they have lost listenership.
That is right, they have lost 12% listenership in 10
They claim because FM does not sound good enough.
That is wrong.
Why else would people turn off the radio to listen
to Internet audio?
Because what the Broadcast Trust will not admit is
that CONTENT IS KING.
Even the consultants know this now:
Subj: All is not well ... and COULD GET WORSE!!! (Digital Disaster)
Date: 1/28/2000 8:33:37 PM Eastern Standard Time
We are sending variations of the below to reporters to try to correct
their misreporting and also ALERT THEM TO UPCOMING DISASTER in the hope
that if they report on it, the worst will be averted!
There are those who would KILL NOT ONLY THE LPFM STATIONS,
BUT *ALSO* KILL MANY MANY EXISTING INDEPENDENT, SMALL RELIGIOUS,
COMMUNITY AND COLLEGE RADIO STATIONS.
The evil plan, require conversion to Digital or "sunset" the station
or the whole analog FM dial.
If these people succeed, ALL YOUR FM RADIOS WILL BE PAPERWIEGHTS!!!
Go to the FCC's ECFS system, put in to search for comments on the
Digital Audio Broadcasting In Band On Channel proceeding number 99-325
and look around. Read between the lines.
I think you should see this web page in light of your coverage of
the Low Power Radio Service and the National Association of Broadcasters
claims of Interference Concerns.
Many labor under the misconception that "everyone" is not sure what
will happen vis-a-vis interference until they LPRS stations are up and
Not so, we already know *exactly* what will happen ...
... because we have already been allowing stations to transmit that
close AND CLOSER together for YEARS!!
With no problems.
They are called "Grandfathered Short Spaced 2nd Adjacent Stations"
that run at MANY TIMES 1000 Watts.
Since 1963 ... with NO COMPLAINTS OF INTERFERENCE.
More info: [URL=http://members.aol.com/wrfr/smokinggun.htm]http://members.aol.com/wrfr/smokinggun.htm[/URL]
The NAB themselves argued for GREATER flexibility of movement for
2nd Adjacent stations in 1996!!
That is what the LPRS basically *is* (with ownership restrictions
added) except we only get to use third adjacent frequencies but the Big
Broadcast Trust stations are allowed to also use the SECOND Adjacent frequencies
AND run well over 1000 watts also!
There has BEEN *NO* ABANDONMENT OF SPECTRUM INTEGRITY POLICY.
But the NAB would like to have you believe otherwise!!
ALSO: THE NAB has now turned right around and argued that we must
allow stations to DOUBLE THEIR BANDWIDTH to create Digital Radio.
That would use the exact same space that the LPRS folks argued we
And even more ironically, the main makers of Digital, USADR suggest
that they only need 70kHz of the available 137kHz out of 200kHz that are
the current available subcarrier capacity!!
More info: [URL=http://members.aol.com/wrfr/VCPPIBOC.htm]http://members.aol.com/wrfr/VCPPIBOC.htm[/URL]
THERE HAS ALSO OCURRED THE EXCELLENT SUGGESTION TO ENLIST THE HAMS!!
In that last URL is our suggestion to the FCC re: the Digital Audio
In there we suggest creating "2nd Adjacent Test Festivals" where
they run the In Band On Channel (IBOC) Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB)
down some existing 2nd Adjacent Full Power stations and invite people to
come and try out their radios in proximity to those two stations as well
as testing out (lay down a deposit, drive around the county with a sample
Digital Audio Broadcasting radio to see what you think of it).
This way people will SEE AND DISCUSS FOR THEMSELVES:
1)Do any of the several variations of IBOC DAB cause interference
to analog radios under worst-case REAL WORLD conditions?
(That is, used at multi-thousand watt 2nd adjacent
Short Spaced radio stations).
2) Are the new DAB recievers really so awesome that they are worth
DO we really give a damn about this or is this just
mandate that creates Corporate Welfare by :
2a) forcing us to buy billions of new reicevers and
send the old ones to the landfill!!?
2b) Cause the elimination of many small college and community
that cannot afford the digital
Will the slight increase in sound quality of the same old same
old programming make up for the loss of minority niche programming provided
by small independent, religious, community and college radio stations?
Consultants Think NOT!!!
Notice they cite loss of listenership due to "Lack of programming
innovation", NOT to lack of the "near CD quality" or (nonaudio)"auxiliary
services" that are the two main offerings of the proponents of the new
Digital Audio Broadcasting proposals.
Notice also that people will suffer with the incessant rebuffering
and less-than-AM-radio sound quality of online Internet bitstreaming of
CONTENT IS KING ... and that is what the Big Broadcasting Trusts
of NPR and Clear Channel will not admit.
Because as long as they can run on the myth of a technological fix
to the slash-and-burn of thier staff ... they can pull off Frauds like
this Digital Disaster!
In short, evidence suggests that Digital Radio will not only NOT
save the broadcasters, it will kill what little variety is out there thus
stomping the golden goose to its final death !
Sincerely, Christopher Maxwell
Radio Free Richmond Project of the
Virginia Center for the Public Press [URL=http://members.aol.com/Wrfr]http://members.aol.com/Wrfr[/URL]
PS: Who are we?
We got a resolution from the City Council of Richmond Va in favor
of the Low Power Radio Service ... apparently that encouraged the FCC staff
a great deal.
We also brought in 1081 signatures for the LPRS, as well as approval
by the local Labor and NAACP boards.
We are now one of 46 commentators to the Digital Audio Broadcasting
proposal 99-325 that COULD DESTROY THE LPRS from the inside!!
What is funny, is they know it, even skirt the issue ...
yet still can't help themselves:
Check out these comment by Sony Corp in support of the Digital Disaster
Subj: Fwd: [MRN] GETTING *WORSE*: DEATH OF *EXISTING* COMMUNITY RADIO
Date: 1/28/2000 9:56:28 PM Eastern Standard Time
In a message dated 1/28/2000 9:46:11 PM Eastern Standard Time, WRFR@aol.com
<< Subj: [MRN] GETTING *WORSE*: DEATH OF *EXISTING* COMMUNITY
RADIO ALSO MANDATED???
Date: 1/28/2000 9:46:11 PM Eastern Standard Time
In going thru the comments regarding the Digital Audio Broadcasting
y'all will LOVE the Sony Comments!
Basically, it calls for 400kHz FM stations AND
MANDATORY SUNSET OF ANALOG.
1) No 2nd adjacent for LPRS *EVER*
2) No room for pirates ... no American Civil Disobedience possible!!!!
3) Likely death of existing small independents, religious, community
and college radio stations that can't afford the
by the sunset date!!
Check out some excerpts from the Sony comments on 99-325
(however, there are some juicy admissions on their part we can
use if we pull
out the BIG GUNS of public opinion on this!!)
Julio Posse, Sony Electronics Inc. 1/24/00
"...Sony Electronics Inc. recognizes the inevitability of terrestrial
radio and the exciting benefits it can offer the consumer in
" One obvious lesson that is sometimes too easy to ignore when
new technology is the importance of weighing value against the
cost to the
SIDE NOTE:] The reason that Sony thinks it is important that
allowed to use packetized digital to deliver audio is that there
will soon be
wireless surfing of the Internet audio sites.
Why does this prove anything? Digital or not, the vital difference
Internet (wireless or not) is that the Internet is point-to-point
content is chosen and started by the individual user. Broadcasting
or otherwise) is reversed where the *SOURCE* edits and chooses
This means that this is a comparison of apples and oranges. Digital
Broadcasting has NOTHING in common with Wireless Internet bitcasting
than that the audio is packetized bits of digital data. But from
point of view, they could not be more different!!
"There are many emerging technologies that will offer broadband
access. Services for fixed applications will be offered by DSL
Cable Modem, LMDS and satellite services at s-mKu- and Ka-gands.
It is simply
a matter of time before the wireless industry can offer broadband
access to mobile applications, using point-to-point or broadcast
and directly compete with Broadcaster markets. It is therefore
the Broadcaster to be given the opportunity to convert to digital
in the near
"The players (of Internet Audio files such as MP3) themselves
high quality digital audio and are increasingly becoming a more
alternative, in some cases, to the limited variety of music offered
radio. This is, therefore, another reason the Broadcasting Industry
advance to a digital format and offer not only digital quality,
but also an
alternative pipe fo rthe value-added services offered over the
SideNote:] Who wrote this?!? They keep getting cause and effect
People are buying digital audio not for sound quality but for
practically say that themsevles but then inexplicably support
system editing system of Broadcasting that Destroys the very
variety that the
Internet lives off of!
What Sony and the Broadcasters fail to realize is the power of
music is NOT SOUND QUALITY, IT IS THE VARIETY AND THE FACT THAT
DOES THE EDITING, NOT THE CORPORATION!! In the Internet, the
USER starts the
transmission, chooses the content of the transmission, NOT THE
Thus if anything, the popularity of Internet Audio is a resounding
of the old "gatekeeper" model of culture distribution where a
central set of
"experts" tells us what we want to hear and serve it to us like
drooling mental patients.
"Sony additionally urges the Commission to mandate a fixed analog
date in an effort to continue fostering a transition to an all-digital
SN] This after they themselves noted that "it remains to be seen
not the proposed IBOC system can attract a market larger than
'early adopters' in the interim before an all-digital system
So in other words, Sony does not trust this system to sell in
the free market
and they wish to force the issue on us!!!
"Sony has seen a very slow market penetration in Europe with
employs the Eureka-147 standard. The disappointing ramp-up is
a service that offers little more than improved audio."
and then they condemn (accurately) the lack of anything worth
buying a DAB
"... needs to be more of an empetus fo rthe averag consumer to
This empetus is either derived from a variety of new channels
value-added services. S-DARS in the U.S. has chosen both methods.
value-added service offered by S-DARS, as an example, is commercial
SN] In other words, greater variety of programming innovation
... like the
Low Power Radio Service!!!!
"As stated by the Commission, a system that permits stastions
to implement an
all-digital radio service rapidly may serve the public interest
one that delays the opportunity to fully realze the benefits
of DAB for
possibly several years. Sony also recognizes the potential benefit
of a fixed
analog "sunset" date to foster a transition to an all-digital
believes one should not preclude the other. In fact, both may
be necessary to
stimulate the market to fully adopt the digital transition."
: ... over the 12 years before the fixed analog 'sunset', proposed
"In Europe, Eureka-147 sales have been very slow. This is largely
there not being enough incentive for consumers to buy a more
for simply getting digital quality and very limited data services.
"Today's technology will permit a spectrum efficiency of between
and 1.5b/s/Hz. With a 200kHz bandwidth, data rates between 140kbps
300kbps are achievable. With PAC or AAC, near CD quality at 64kbps
possible with enough link margin. However, in order to attract
quality at 128kbps (MPEG AAC) and a limited data capability is
This still translates to a bandwidth of between 100kHz and 200kHz.
believes, however, that bit rates of 64-384Kbps are required
to add enough
value to attract customers to this new technology. The exact
rate depends on
wheter the service would carry text, a still picture or moving
additional bit capacity would require a frequency bandwidth between
and 400kHz, which is equivalent to what is offered by the all-digital
If these rates are attempted at narrower bands, the system becomes
susceptible to frequency-selective fading and compromises robustness."
"AM which offers a bandwidth of less than 9-10 kHz should accomodate
quality audio and a very limited auxiliary data service. However,
quality will not be available with a 9-10kHz bandwidth. A frequency
between 18-20kHz would be needed, given today's audio coding
Side Note:] Has anyone asked the public if we would prefer several
of the same audio quality (with new music forms and new news/talk
innovation) or if we prefer the same "limited programming choices"
above with slightly better sound?
We could get the latter by actually REDUCING THE SIZE OF EXISTING
AND LICENSING MORE LOW POWER FM STATIONS. Competition would equal
array of programming service options.
The Broadcast Trusts have proven that given the choice between
"programming innovation" and competing by buying up the competition
government regulation to squash competition, then cutting staff
money, the Broadcast Trust has consistently chosen the latter
way of making
Why would they act any different with Digital? They will continue
to gut and
automate and reduce the variety available as long as real competition
continues to evaporate due to the ologopolistic effect of the
END SONY COMMENTS AND ANALYSIS
They have been so busy cutting staff to make money,
that now less people are listening to them.
Rather than admit that even the consultants are right,
they run to the FCC and Congress to protect them from competition!
Radio Consultants "Duncan Radio Research" points out
that the reason for the drop in listenersrs is "lack of programming innovation."
Why do most radio stations
leave me feeling like a
"Stranger In A Strange Land"?
Because they can.
radio station owners
used to prevent
too many ads or
overly bland or
You could turn the dial
to "the other guy".
Then the 1996 Telecom
Act allowed a huge
merger frenzy so that ...
the Other Guy",
says George Sosson,
Clear Channel Inc.
senior vice president.
In spite of industry claims that
"there's no room for more stations"
'there's more diversity than ever' :
Commissioner Gloria Tristani said,
"less than 3% of radio stations are
minority owned ...
Black-owned stations dropped 26%
Hispanic-owned stations dropped 9%
between 1995 and 1997."
35% of all advertising revenue
last year went to the top three
[soon to be two] station owner groups:
(Chancellor became "AMFM")
Clear Channel/Jacor Communications
CBS Radio/Infinity Broadcasting
Before the 1996 Telecom Act that
allowed these mergers, the largest
radio chain owned only 38 radio stations.
When the latest AMFM/Clear Channel
merger is complete, they will dominate 830 stations.
NPR ATC 10/5/99
" ...common for two or three companies
to own 80% to 90% of the radio ad revenues
in a market.
In Rochester, N.Y., for example,
14 stations owned by CBS, Jacor and Entercom
held 94% of the radio ad revenues in 1997,
according to Duncan's American Radio, a research firm"
And the Broadcast Turst plan on keeping it
BY KILLING COMMUNITY AND COLLEGE RADIO AS WELL AS ANY
NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOU TO STATRT OR HEAR NEW RADIO STATIONS.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
--Grab The Brass Ring--
The Federal Communication Commission has recently
voted 4-1 to open thousands of new
legal frequencies on the FM dial
and restrict their control to
new and local groups/people.
This proposed new set of rules is referred to
as the Low
Power Radio Service (LPRS).
The LPRS CREATES COMPETITION
by enabling thousands of new and new local
community, church or small business radio stations
to serve those ignored by current radio stations.
A stable society
is an inclusive
and just society.
The LPRS, is designed to encourage a diversity of cultures
represented on the airwaves
by encouraging a diversity of ownership/control.
A diversity of people and organizations
with different values and priorities
will create a more inclusive media
(and therefore government policy)
because they will have different definitions
of what is “newsworthy” and “viable”
for sharing on the public's airwaves.
BUT THE TRUSTS ARE
PLANNING TO KILL IT!!
1) to write a public letter to the Federal
in support of a Low Power Radio Service.
2) Opposition to the "Broadcasting
Preservation Act of 1999" that specifically reverses the Low Power
Radio Service vote (and thereby kill budding community radio stations).
3) Ask your representative to
support asking the military to release the alternative to IBOC by letting
the FCC assign the new Digital Audio Broadcasting technology to the World-Accepted
"L-Band" at 1400mHz.
If you want
to keep updated
SUBSCRIBE TO LPRS-E-ZINE
Thank-you for reading all this
and considering helping us
create a radio dial as diverse
as the population that listens
and pays taxes to regulate it.