Click here to discussion on how corruption
and racism can destroy this opportunity if we don't act!!
Summary: The Federal Communication
Commission has recently proposed to open new legal frequencies in the Greap
Gaping Gaps of static between full-power radio stations; and restrict
control to new and local groups and people. This proposed new set of rules
is referred to as the Low Power
Radio Service (LPRS).
The LPRS could enable 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.
Our Democratic Republic depends on a careful balance
of power and an effective “free press” that is neither onerously influenced
by government or
overly centralized private influence.
The LPRS could be a renaissance in American
Democracy ... if We The People resist cynicism and act in our self
The strategies, brief
relevant history and arguments
of the enemies of a diverse radio dial:
The less technical arguments are presented first. Those who oppose the
Low Power Radio Service would prefer to drag us into eye-glazing technical
discussions rather than look at the philosophical and political reasons
to oppose your opportunity to be on the air!
The opponents of the competitive opportunities
provided by the LPRS prefer technical arguments because they can afford
the technical experts to bury your numbed brain under an avalanche of jargon
and mathematics and concepts that you may find strange or even intimidating,
thus winning the argument by default.
Key Republican's*1 talk
as if they support the interests
of the average American ...
but actions say otherwise.
are the ways that the small elite minority seek to profit by restricting
the use of our property,
Tauzin (R-LA) has supported the anticompetitive actions of the
"Big Boy Broadcaster's" lobbyists (the National Association of Broadcasters,
by opposing the "Low Power Radio Service"(LPRS)
proposal [*2] of the Federal
Communication Commission (FCC).
The LPRS [*2] would create
competition and variety by opening thousands of new legal frequencies (depending
on how the rules end up getting written) on America's FM dial for new
new local voices to get on the air.
Tauzin has referred to the FCC as a "renegade" agency and is threatening
"reorganization" and began investigating the reauthorization of the FCC
immediately after dissenters (led by David Bonior (D-Mich)) in the House
of Representatives publicly disagreed with Tauzin by supporting the "Low
Power Radio Service."
Tauzin has publicly claimed that he is worried that "skinheads" would start
Tauzin has also expressed concern that civic radio stations would drain
donations away from Public Broadcasting radio stations. [*3]
This would be the normal "newspeak" that politicians
of all stripes
are known to engage in; except that Tauzin is ruling
that affect the employer of his relatives ... classic
If this were a court of law, that would be like the
prosecutor or a defendant's lawyer being the daughter of the judge!! An
immediate mistrial would normally be declared. The judge would normally
take himself out of such a case due to conflict-of-interest.
Tauzin is the Chairman of the House Telecommunications Subcommittee.
is a subcommittee of the House Commerce Committee (which is chaired by
Thomas Bliley (R-Va)).
Tauzin theoretically represents the entire United States House of
Representatives ... on telecommunications (electronic media) issues.
Indeed there are dissenters both in Congress and in the grassroots.
Tauzin theoretically then represents every American that voted for
any member of the House of Representatives ... on telecommunications issues.
Tauzin sets the agenda in his committee for any bills and investigations
... into telecommunications issues.
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is a lobbying organization
that represents the large corporate-chain radio stations ... on telecommunications
(electronic media) issues.
The job of the NAB is to influence Congress (Tauzin, mostly) to
create laws, investigations and agendas for discussion that are favorable
to the concentration of control (and profits) of radio stations.
Tauzin therefore is a major lobbying target of the NAB to create
favorable policies for the concentration of power and the deferment of
consequences in order to constantly maximize profit.
HOW INTERESTING THEN THAT TAUZIN'S
DAUGHTER WORKS FOR THE NAB!!
Republicans love free enterprise and free trade ... until its their
buddies who have to compete!! Billy Tauzin, (R-LA) had an immediate and
radical response when the FCC proposed addressing concentration of control
of radio by opening up new frequencies for locals and new groups ... by
threatening the FCC with "reorganization"!
And now two other Republicans have sent letters to the FCC telling
Kennard to cheese-it or "it's hammer time!"
Also read more here how the current consolidation
is not good enough for those who would control everything you hear/see
in the media!
Strategic Silence: Interestingly, the House
Telecom Subcommittee is the subcommittee to the House Commerce Committee,
chaired by (drum roll) Thomas J Bliley (R-VA)!! Bliley's staff has
so-far refused to express any public decision as to whether Bliley sees
a problem with Tauzin's corruption. There have been several requests for
Mr. Bliley to take a stand in support of the Low Power Radio Service especially
considering the nepotism of his underling.
Double Standards: Bliley's silence becomes
even more interesting when he has published a statement
in support of Low Power TV stations that are recognized as often the
only source of truly locally relevant programming. This statement is (almost
the points of the proponents of the Low Power Radio Service for Low
Power Radio support.
Naked Exclusionary Racism: Speaking of skinheads.
Conrad Burns (R-Mont) is quoted as agreeing with the National Association
of Broadcasters, saying that we don't need all these little radio stations,
had about all the diversity I can stand."
Conrad Burns is the Senate version of Tauzin. Burns is the chair of
the Senate Telecommunications subcommittee, (of the Senate Commerce Committee,
Chaired by John McCain (R-AZ)). It is amazing
that they let him out in public with attitudes like that. Lucky for him,
no major media other than trade journals such as the Public Broadcasting
Report have reported on this.
This shows what the true motivation of their opposition to community
radio is; they just finished bum-rushing "them" out the front door with
the 1996 Telecom Act. The Low Power Radio Service proposes to let "those
people" right back in.
Now the prices of radio stations are sky-high. The mergers are arranged
so that anyone who wishes to advertise is given less and less real choice
and competition and so the smaller businesses (and their customers) pay
back the bank for the mergers. This is how the media moguls don't actually
lose any money and it has the wonderful side effect of keeping "those"
people out of the game.
Naked Power Grab: A merger
between two communication's giants have to get past three Federal agencies,
the Federal Communications Commission (with President Clinton's appointment
of Mr. Kennard, the first African-American Chairman ever), the Department
of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (the last two essentially controlled
by pro-corporate-power-concentration Republicans)
(Bloomberg News 5/26/99) "Two influential Senators introduced legislation
that would limit the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's authority
to review mergers. The bill, sponsored by Senate Commerce Committee
Chairman John McCain(R-AZ) and Senate Judiciary
Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-WA), would forbid the FCC from blocking
a transaction that either the Department of Justice or Federal Trade Commission
has cleared. "
The Federal Trade Commission is overseen by the Senate Commerce Committee
(Chaired by Senator John McCain) and the Department
of Justice is overseen by the Senate Judiciary Committee (Chaired by Senator
Naked follow-through on retaliatory threat:
Tauzin is the Chair of the House Telecom Subcommittee. This means
that theoretically, he speaks to the FCC for all the Representatives and
all the Americans that voted for all the Representatives on issues relating
to electronic media. Tauzin as the Chair gets to set the agenda of investigations,
pass or kill a proposed bill before the media ever get a chance to report
on it, and in general hide his agenda or not as serves his interests.
Twenty-seven members of the House of Representatives signed on to a
letter by David Bonior (D-Mich) that supported the Low Power Radio Service
proposals. On March 17th, the day after Bonior's letter in support
went to the FCC with 26 other signatories, Tauzin began his
"reauthorization" hearings for the FCC. McCain
and Tauzin have openly stated that they thought that the FCC was a "renegade"
agency and that they needed "restructuring".
Hmmm, perhaps restructuring like the 1996 Telecommunications Act that
allowed all these mergers in the first place and caused this mess?
Go to your representative body such as your Lion's Club,
Sierra Club etc.
The more representative persons, positions and bodies
oppose the sellout by Burns and Tauzin to the Big Boy Broadcasters, the
more support those progressive forces in the FCC will feel.
The more support the LPRS publicly receives, the more
likely an effective new service that we and many others can use to get
on the air this year will become reality.
What is needed: A
letter from our Congressmen and Senators publicly mailed to the Federal
Communication Commission stating that their constituency wish to expand
opportunities for diverse ownership and programming on the airwaves via
the Low Power Radio Service with strong local ownership provisions.
IMPORTANT FACTORS IN THE GROWTH
OF COMMUNITY RADIO
Popular disgust with the media has caused many across
the political spectrum to pursue an establishment of their own radio stations
and an explosion of web pages being published.
Whether considered "left" or "right" wing, the supporters
of Community Radio have one important goal in common: A desire for people
to have at least a few outlets in their community for ideas that do not
serve either the government or big business interests.
For as long as there has been radio, there have been radio
pirates. What is different now is:
Radio Transmitting equipment is very affordable. You can
buy a thousand watt transmitter for about $5,000 or less. A 40 Watt transmitter
with a downtown-spanning 4 to 5 mile radius can cost under $500.
Pirate radio used to be largely a matter of vanity. The music
and talk rarely challenged the status quo and when the FCC showed
up, the "hobby broadcaster" usually ceased operations and went into "legitimate"
broadcasting at some small independent radio station, a shop front AM or
10 Watt college FM station.
Now the incredibly overinflated values (due to a merger-purchase
frenzy) of radio stations have forced single proprietorships and
small organizations out of the business. The consolidation of staff has
thrown thousands out of jobs.
Americans are less satisfied with the "melting pot" theory
of what it means to be "American." Now Americans largely buy into the "Brunswick
Stew" analogy where the pot of many different cultures and world-views
make up a distinctive "American Stew" , yet the individual components,
the Mexican peppers, the Asian Rice, the German bouillon, the Scottish
potatoes ... all retain their individuality within the stew.
This sea-change in our political awareness sees us wanting
to see ourselves reflected and represented in the media. We want those
who choose the news headline, the interview source, the order of the quotes
to have at least some awareness and sympathy to our worldview.
Americans are also becoming sensitized to the fact that we
are losing control of our government. Cynicism is running rampant with
"none of the above" winning elections where that choice is available.
Americans are realizing that radio is not just another
business, but rather a vital link between those who make policy (in
Big Government or Big Business that has purchased Government) and
those who suffer from policy.
Americans are realizing that our public resources, the airwaves
in this case, are being hijacked by the powerful for the further concentration
THUS: realizing that therefore since these powerful (fewer
and fewer in number) rely upon taxpayer funded government agencies such
as the Federal Communication Commission to protect their positions of leisure
and benefit ... and that media is designed to inform us of what government
and business is doing ...
Unrepresentative radio is literally taxation without representation!
This is a dangerous game that the forces of monopoly are playing. The lack
of access to the airwaves is exactly the kind of problem that lead to the
American Revolution against the British King. The problem is that Revolution
often becomes a big mess, not stopping when all the original tormentor's
heads have been cut off. Revolution often eats its own.
So rather than being radical, the Low Power Radio Service that would
open opportunities for the unheard to get on the FM dial is a mitigating
force. Those who take the side of concentrated power do so at the risk
of the nation.
"I'm too poor to vote Republican" goes the bumper snicker. If only they
would stick to fiscal responsibility as a theme, the Republicans could
get a lot of support.
Then the Republicans turn around and let their true colors show: Pro
Concentrated Power. Oh, and if the Democrats think they are off the hook,
forget it. Most of the worst offenses of government have required a bi-partisan
Liberals used to depend on Big Government to protect them from the excesses
of Big Business. Conservatives used to rely on Big Business to protect
them from the "social engineering" of the Big Government. Well, now Big
Business purchased Big Government and they are kicking both of us to the
gutter! As with any attempt to consolidate power, you must prevent your
victims from joining forces and communicating their similarities and coming
up with tactics.
First: A key cornerstone to the Republican "Contract On
America" was the 1996 Telecommunications Act that allowed those
corporations that would own multiple radio stations to start gobbling every
station and each other. While the press covered the 1996 Telecom Act as
a way to cheapen phone rates and provide neat new phone services, very
little has happened for phone competition. Conversely, in the much-ignored
(until recently) area of radio mergers the 1996 Telecom Act has revolutionized
American electronic media. This Act would never have made it without President
Second: When the 1992 Oil, er "Gulf" War erupted and the
press rolled over for Col. Shwartz like the good lapdog it usually
is for its defense-contractor-owners
... thousands of disgruntled Americans took to the airwaves on legal community
radio stations and illegal "pirate" radio stations.
Third: The FCC is goaded by the National Association of
Broadcasters to begin cracking down on the pirate radio operators.
The claim is that the pirates are going to cause planes to fall from the
sky, the firemen won't be able to communicate. The only problem is, its
the NAB complaining and not the Federal Aviation Administration!
Indeed, these pirate operators are typically less powerful than a common
hairdryer, the damage caused by mega-watt legal operations are far more
apparent than from a 40 watt pirate transmitter. There are two pirate radio
operators in the Richmond area, neither of which are interfering with any
other station on any of the receivers checked. WCVE 88.9FM regularly stomps
reception of half the stations for a mile radius around their tower (co-located
on the Channel 6 tower), in spite of being lower power than several other
commercial radio stations! WRXL102 and WRVQ 94.5FM, while more powerful,
do not stomp stations like WCVE88.9FM does. The records speak for
themselves, it is human nature to procrastinate and goof off until a crisis
occurs. So given the same amount of laziness they accuse pirate radio
operators of, the huge power output of a blowtorch like WCVE causes more
The stations chosen for the crack-downs are almost always
the ones carrying anti-establishment messages and solutions
outside the marketplace system provided by Big-Businovernment. When
15 stations in Miami are busted, 13 of them were Techno radio stations.
The corporate-chain NAB radio stations could have put these pirates
out of business ... by playing techno ... but they would rather
use taxpayer funded agencies such as the FCC and the Federal Marshalls
to avoid serving a market they are not sympathetic to. They would rather
carve up the Baby Boomer "oldies" market eight different ways and fight
toothe and claw over leftovers than serve a market (techno) that makes
up some one fifth of pop music sales.
is the underground music for the 90s and 21st century as Jazz was in
the 1930s, Rock was in the 1950s and 1960s. In spite of Techno backing
up auto commercials, sneaker ads and sport drink collages ... commercial
radio is so antagonistic to the Techno culture that they will pass up an
audience that makes up an estimated 20% of pop music sales. The kicker
is that the NAB corporate chain radio stations won't serve the Techno culture
but they don't want street level entrepreneurs with 40 to 400 watt stations
to serve them either!
WHY DO "THEY" GET AWAY WITH IT?
The Republicans such as Tauzin are bold in their corruption because
they are so sure that the mainstream media will not alert the public to
the selling of their resources, the airwaves, for personal gain.
Tauzin and crowd knows that if they expect to get reelected, they
must purchase advertising on Television.
People like Tauzin rarely stay in office when people know they are
They cannot afford to upset the Big Boy Broadcasters who have the ultimate
The worse job the reporters do covering a political campaign, the more
the need for TV ads to get the candidate's points across.
TV ads cost huge stinking piles of blood money meaning that they must
prostitute themselves to people and institutions with deep pockets.
And finally, frankly, most candidates of major parties are far more
comfortable hob nobbing with Archer Daniels Midland company execs on their
jets as they go on privately funded "fact-finding" missions than they do
visiting you at some greasy spoon restaurant for your measly $100 or less.
Then they can slap themselves on the back that really they deserve
to be in this position of power, after all, they know they are right; the
proof is that God loves them because they are Rich, they are Rich because
God loves them.
If you are not rich, that means God does not love you, and if we are
going to have paradise, well, you'll just have to go.
Micropower Community Radio threatens to upset this
nice applecart they have arranged, and with radio stations with regular
people doing the shows, there is always
the chance that someone might really come up with a unique solution to
a problem that they don't have any control over nor ability to profit from.
this link, scroll down to the bottom and you will see why a network of
radio stations is so vital to Democracy ... and why some are so opposed
To Reiterate: What we need:
Call your Congressmen/Senators. Ask them to publicly support community
radio opportunities via the Federal Communication's most recent proposal
to open new frequencies with the "Low Power Radio Service". Your elected
representative can most easily do this by writing a public letter to the
FCC in support of the Low Power Radio Service. A good sample example is
the letter written by Congressman David Bonior (D-Mich).
Get your representative bodies (Sierra Club, Lion's Club etc) to write
letters to the Congressmen/Senators in support of the Low Power Radio
Service. They can also pass resolutions that can be mailed to our
federal elected representatives. They can use the resolution
of the City Council of Detroit as an example or any
of the other 28.
Call the editor of the publication of your choice. Ask them for
substantive helpful coverage of the Low Power Radio Service process and
the Radio Free Richmond Project.
NOTE1:] The following information
might suggest that only the Republicans have laid themselves wide open
to the accusation of shilling for Wall Street. Notably, the key law that
started this whole mess was signed by President Clinton, so much of this
mess would not exist without a bipartisan sell-out.
NOTE2:] The Low Power Radio
Service (LPRS) is a proposal to change the regulations that
the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) uses to enforce law
down by Congress.
Regulation is always a matter of interpretation
of the law's intention and therefore political, not technical as
many might have you believe.
Certain key Republicans have further politicized the
process of setting regulation by
a) Demanding that debates over the regulation occur
in Congressional Committees that are sympathetic to Big Boy Broadcasters
b) Openly threatening the FCC with "restructuring"
during the 1999 "Reauthorization Hearings" if the FCC insists on hearing
out the public on our desire for access to radio opportunities.
What we need from our Senators/Representatives
is public support for the FCC to move forward with
a historic proposal to open airwaves to those "outside the club" of the
elite that currently control almost all access points on the FM dial ...
via the LPRS.
Our Congressmen and Senators can show support by writing
a public letter to the FCC supporting the LPRS.
Note3:] Interesting that a very conservative
Congressman is now so comfortable with what some people have referred to
as the "Corporation
for Petroleum Broadcasting". Indeed, this shows how far NPR has come
from its roots as a channel for minority and nonmainstream "voices
that might otherwise be unheard" and universally reviled by Nixon and
ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE LPRS:
Argument: "you'll have to prove
there's a relationship between diversity of ownership and diversity of
Argument: "It won't help those it
is intended to help anyway."
The public debate in the public part of the FCC and from the opponents
of the Low Power Radio Service focuses mostly on technical
issues. As you can read below, they are largely red herrings for the what
appears to be the real issue: That those who are in control of the currently
concentrated radio dial like it that way.
That quote above is a paraphrase of Mr. Furgette Roth's argument, the only
FCC commissioner who voted against even putting the Low Power Radio Service
up for public consideration at all. IF indeed, a court were convinced that
there was an irrefutable link between diversity of ownership and diversity
of viewpoints and culture expressed as programming decisions ... then the
FCC might be required to force the large institutions that dominate the
radio dial to divest their holdings. This would be extremely unpopular
with those who enjoy record profits due to the mergers. The large profiting
institutions would do everything in their power to wipe out the political
career of anyone that supported a divestment scheme.
While it seems obvious from a lay person's viewpoint that putting Archie
Bunker in charge of a radio station would yield different programming than
if you put "Meat Head" in charge ... this is the same legal system that
debated the meaning of sex in the case of MonicaGate.
Definition City: The FCC is required to make the most efficient use
of the radio spectrum. Who defines "efficient" to mean what? Having
a FEW humongous radio stations certainly irradiates the air with maximum
penetration. But if you instead interpreted "efficient" to mean the broadest
spectrum of human thought and culture, that is the greatest diversity,
you need to get as many channels in an area as possible. Obviously allowing
huge 50,000 Watt stations shows which values were in place when the question
of "efficiency" came up.
Define: Diversity. Rush Limbaugh has more in common in any meaningful
way with Justice of the Supreme Court Clarance Thomas (who married Limbaugh
to his second or third wife) than he does with Ralph Nader. Yet if your
definition of "diverse" is limited to skin color, the Supreme court looks
like it is becoming more diverse, with "The Black Avenger" on the radio
dial, it looks like it is more "diverse". But there is far more to diversity
than skin color. It is safe to say that it is nearly impossible to legislate
or regulate a certain level of diversity, so the safest bet is to limit
radio and TV stations to ONE per owner for an overall maximum diversity
of ownership. Unfortunately, we have been going in the opposite direction,
putting more stations into fewer hands.
Market Lies: A common argument is that someone does not have to
like you to produce a product for you. The marketplace will push that person
to serve your needs and values regardless if there is enough demand. Really?
This is such an extensive area for debate that you should for more information
on market failures.
The short answer is that certain profitable parts of American culture
are overserved, the Baby Boomers cut up into 5 different formats, but there
is little to nothing for other various less numerous subcultures that DO
have money to spend.
Argument: "The LPRS will allow skin
heads to get stations and threaten struggling public radio stations.",
"Billy" Tauzin (R-LA and Chair of the House Telecom Subcommittee).
Especially not if there are none or watered down ownership restrictions.
As mentioned elsewhere, ownership restrictions that could increase diversity
are the FAVORITE target of the defenders of monopoly. If the FCC caves
into demands by the NAB that the full power broadcasters be allowed to
apply for the LPRS stations, then the little guy, the neighborhood church,
small business or civic association doesn't stand a chance and we end up
with a fleet of McChurchs and WalMart shopping channel radio stations with
sales staff and pulpits thousands of miles away! Roth
is possibly suggesting that the FCC might not be able to beat back the
effort of the economic elite to coopt the LPRS. If the LPRS is coopted,
then the existing 11 corporate boards of directors (with 157 people) that
own most of the media in the United States will continue to make most of
the programming decisions for you .by owning the LPRS stations also.
A government body cannot engineer diversity legally on a case by case basis.
This would require an elaborate measurement system that would take into
account making sure that minority subcultures such as Buddhists, leftists,
environmentalists etc that are unpopular with the ruling class that elect
leaders get stations. THEREFORE, the best bet is to simply shoot for an
absolute maximum number of different owners. The LPRS should require
that the LPRS station applicants be subject to the following restrictions:
1) One LPRS per organization nationally.
2) If an organization/person already has a
controlling interest in a radio station, they
cannot apply, nor have any controlling interest
in the new LPRS organization/business.
3) Daily operating funds must originate
locally, only startup/capitol improvement
funds can come from outside the area.
4) New openings on the radio dial must be
made available by relaxing overly restrictive
station spacing rules
and also the LPRS must
use the entire radio dial.
4)a) Just as FM moved updial from the AM
band when approved by the FCC, so should
digital radio. The existing world standard in
use in England and France is called “Eureka
147” at 1400Mhz. We should not reinvent
the wheel especially when using a
nonstandard digital method on the FM band
inferior as well as denying LPRS
applicants needed frequencies. The World
is laughing at our refusal to use Eureka that
has been working for them for years!
Support Eureka 147 for
5) All LPRS owners/controllers must be
registered to vote within 50 miles of the
First of all, Tauzin's daughter works(ed) for the National Association
of Broadcasters. This is like a judge hearing a case where the prosecutor
is his daughter!
Second, since when is a conservative from Louisiana worried about a skin-head
like David Duke ... oh, his competitor. Never mind. Just plain old corruption
And since when is a politician that is widely acknowledged to be one of
the most conservative concerned that "struggling" public radio stations
might have to compete for donations? Have they cut that much government
funding or are the public radio stations that out of touch with the public?
Could it be that public radio is finally so scared of them that PBS has
nearly gutted any minority viewpoints that run counter to the landed (and
stockholding) gentry that so often support the GOP? Has PBS become a toady
to the corporate underwriters such that the Statist wing of the GOP finally
feels kinship with the PBS affiliates?
Argument: "We don't need all
these little [LPRS] radio stations, I've had about all the diversity I
can stand!", Conrad Burns (R-Mont and Chair of the Senate Telecom
Argument: What possible purpose would
creating new stations in a transitional market serve?", Senator
Less of an argument than an amazingly candid display of the real motivations
behind opposing the Low Power Radio Service. But this was a key politician
explaining his support for the National Association of Broadcaster position
on an issue that they have largely attempted to keep in a technical realm.
The 1996 Telecom Act has pushed the price of radio stations through
the roof. This is no problem once you are the competition (merged
stations) because then you crank up the cost of advertising to pay for
the inflated price. Plus this has the wonderfully "neutral" effect of driving
"those people" out of the media market. The LPRS would let "those" people
back into a market they just got done pushing out!!
Purpose? How about a fleet of radio stations that could be required to
put up a certain amount of free time for political debates prior to an
election. McCain claims (rightly so) that the soft money corruption of
political fundraising "corrupts us all." The
problem is that McCain does not want to work on the root of the soft money
problem: The overpriced political TV and Radio Ad campaign necessary to
get their views out to a public ill served by the "MonicaGate" obsessed
Especially interesting given that McCain has also supported legislation
that would gut the FCC's ability to review and slow down the merger frenzy
that is increasing the prices of an election campaign so dramatically in
the first place!
the FCC passes the LPRS, those stations will use the space that the full-power
broadcasters need to progress to a digital radio format.
The NAB originally supported a system called "Eureka 147" that the world
has now accepted and are already using in Canada, Britain and France. But
the "Eureka 147" system requires higher frequencies to work properly (just
as FM used higher frequencies [around 100Mhz] than AM [around 1Mhz] radio
to work properly). Typically Eureka 147 uses 247Mhz or 1400Mhz (the "L-Band").
Unfortunately, the US military tests their aircraft using the "L-Band"
and they didn't want to give it up. So the NAB switched tactics, supporting
a vastly inferior (but more politically viable) system called IBOC (In
Band On Channel).
How would you like to listen to a digital radio if it:
Completely lost the signal every time you got interference or
passed outside of range.
Completely lost the signal as it weakened.
Had to wait 5 seconds every time you changed stations for the
"signal to buffer" and be decoded everytime you scanned or pressed
a preset for a new station.
Could no longer hear that one really cool (but weak) college radio
station. Imagine no longer hearing any but the absolute most powerful
and mainstream stations unless you were right next door. No more scanning
for weak stations!!
IBOC uses the same channel they already own (In the FM
and On their existing Channel). IBOC would "fatten" a signal, using
the "sidebands." Unfortunately, this would make their signal very easy
to destroy by parking decks, passing aircraft and trucks. Notice how your
stereo light flickers off and on when you are trying to hear that one weak
station that plays what you want to hear? You still hear it, even with
With digital, you would (at that moment the stereo light flickered
off) hear NOTHING.
This is called the "shelf effect" where you hear a signal until it gets
weak, then no warning and BWAP, NADA! No signal. In a normal signal,
it keeps getting weaker. The noise signal is usually the same background
strength, and as the signal weakens, you just hear proportionately more
of it as noise. Eventually you must strain and listen very carefully to
hear the music through the static. In digital, however, the decoder does
the listening and it is a lot finickier than you are. Once there is much
of any noise at all, it just gives up even trying to decode
the signal resulting in total silence. This is referred to as the "shelf
effect" because instead of a "graceful decay" of the signal quality, there
is a perfect CD-quality sound, then the signal strength drops just a hair
more and BOOM, TOTAL SILENCE. This is also often called "catostrophic loss"
of the signal.
So while the quality of the sound will increase slightly when you are
nearby the station, as soon as you get on down the road a bit, or go behind
enough trees and buildings, rather than static-infested music or news ...
YOU HEAR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!
Even worse, when you scan the dial, the "buffer" must load up with enough
digital signal for it to decode ... taking say 5 seconds to hear anything
everytime you hit the next preset or scan or everytime you pass under a
bridge or past a truck or ...
Due to its inferiority, IBOC languished for years, making no significant
progress. Introduced in the early 90s, IBOC has sat around for eight
years with no real pressure to do anything with it. The broadcasters were
not heartbroken as this means they could excusably avoid upgrading millions
of dollars of transmitter equipment.
BUT THEN CAME the little guys, Americans seeking to join in the competition
and the resulting proposal to use those spaces between radio stations that
IBOC would need ... and SUDDENLY IBOC WAS SO IMPORTANT!
Don't fall for the fraud called IBOC. This
plan to digitize those stations will only create a nightmare of a crappy
technology with no gain for the consumer, force you to spend money buying
new receivers that sound better if you are right next to the station, but
for that favorite weak station? Forget it, you'll never hear it reliably
more information on the technical inferiority of IBOC click here.
A glance at the WorldDAB Forum’s "Country Progress Reports"
shows how far along they are on the continent. The BBC began DAB
service in 1995 and now transmits to 30 million people (60% of the
UK’s population). In France, Teledifusion de France (TDF) is
broadcasting 13 DAB programs to a quarter of the country. German
states Saxony Anhalt and Bavaria have begun DAB transmissions,
and five more are expected to follow this year. In Eastern Europe,
public broadcasters have taken the lead with experimental
broadcasts: In Hungary, for instance, Magyar Radio has concentrated
on Budapest, reaching 60% of the population. WorldDAB couldn’t
resist a dig at its friends across the Atlantic, where "efforts are
made to develop a more limited in-band solution, though some
experts doubt whether this can ever be an effective solution."
European nations are using L-band spectrum for digital radio."
And for more information
on supporting the World Standard for the U.S., click here.
Argument: The LPRS
stations will cause interference with the existing (analog) stations.
NOTE:] Those who profit from the current
concentration of control of the radio dial would prefer to distract you
with an eye-glazing technical discussion. The real problem, to quote
Senator Conrad Burns (R-Mont, Chair of the Senate Telecom Subcmte) is that
don't need all these little [LPRS] stations, I've had about all the diversity
I can stand!"
CLICK HERE FOR MORE
ON THE POLITICAL MOTIVATIONS OF LPRS OPPONENTS
IBOC brings edges closer, which is what they accuse LPRS stations of
doing, yet NAB wants IBOC!:
The NAB argues that it needs to place the edges of stations closer
to use the IBOC method of digitizing their radio signal.
The NAB also argues that putting LPRS stations in between existing
full-power stations is not workable because then the edges of the radio
stations will be closer together.
They cannot have it BOTH WAYS!! Pick an argument guys. It is only interference
when an economic competitor owned by someone else is closer, not
the next station over on the FM dial that you already own?
There are already stations using LPRS spacing
rules with no complaints: There are already over 300 "Full Power
Grandfathered Short-Spaced FM Stations" in existence. These stations are
closer together than the current rules
would have allowed. This
artificially large distance was based on inferior receivers of the 1960s.
In spite of these 1960s full power stations being closer together than
theoretically possible (to avoid interference) and therefore theoretically
supposedly threatening each other with interference ... NOBODY COMPLAINED!!
The LPRS stations would use the same spacing that these grandfathered stations
have enjoyed with no problems for 30 years thus opening thousands of slots
on the FM dial and cause even less threat of a problem since these low
power stations will be under 1000 watts, less than your hairdryer!
Politics of Interference: Remember: Interference happens in the
receiver, not in the ether, the air or the transmitter!
While driving from Charlottesville Va toward Norfolk, a Chrysler LeBaron's
stock factory radio loses WTJU 91.1FM in the western outskirts of Richmond
Va. Around the central part of Richmond the Varina station, WHCE91.1FM
in Eastern Richmond Metro area, comes in.. They don't mix. But then the
Pioneer KEH-5200 SuperTunerIII hears WTJU all the way into central Richmond
... and also hears WHCE91.1 for a mile or so ... receiving both stations
at the same time!! How can this be, the 1934 Telecom Act that created the
Federal Communication Commission required that they regulate the radio
spectrum use such that no-one interferes with another's signal.
This is an important example because when the FCC wrote the rules to
space out radio stations, they wrote the rules to account for the "average"
receiver. One receiver gets interference between stations and another does
NOT. Politically stations are "interfering" with each other only if people
complain! If none or only a few complain, then it is not a problem worth
This is important because any rules that the FCC are going to write
are not based ultimately on any technical question, rather they are based
on the politics of interference. If no-one complains, then there is no
interference! If most receivers have no problem, then there is no problem.
Those two stations WTJU and WHCE both on 91.1FM provide what is called
"Co-Channel" interference. There is another kind of interference called
"adjacent" interference. WTJU and WHCE are spaced out geographically. Now
look at the example of WDCE90.1FM and WCVE88.9FM They are about 4 miles
apart geographically. They are also spaced out on the FM dial, on the electromagnetic
radio spectrum. If we look at a digital radio dial, you see that between
88.9 and 90.1 there is four "adjacent" frequency "channels" at 89.1 then
89.3 then 89.5 then 89.7FM.
Currently radio stations must not have any appreciable signal on another
(geographically) near station's "third adjacency." This is called "third
adjacency protection." In theory WDCE90.1FM (100 Watts) should be receivable
even nearby WCVE88.9FM (8,300 Watts). Sometimes that is so, sometimes not.
Often when driving by WCVE88.9FM's tower, their signal drowns out WDCE90.1FM
... but not always!! This indicates that the theory works, except when
proper maintenance is not done! The problem is that WCVE is so powerful
(and soon if allowed by the FCC, even more powerful, increasing wattage
to 17,500 Watts).
The Low Power Radio Service stations would not cause these problems
because they are much much lower power, and because the new technology
allows for a more steady signal that does not drift as much. When
WCVE88.9FM is maintaining their transmitter, there is no problem receiving
The LPRS essentially plans to wedge a new low power station into the
center of the four adjacent frequencies between 88.9FM and 90.1FM at, say,
Since MOST of the time, the weak Norfolk radio station, WHRV89.5
(only three adjacent frequency channels away from powerhouse WCVE88.9FM
and two adjacencies away from weak WDCE90.1FM) is receivable in
Richmond, even next to the not-so-well maintained WCVE site ... this would
indicate that as long as maintenance is done, there will be no problem
with lower power stations being closer together on the FM dial.
Naturally, the existing stations do not want the competition!! It is
easier to scare you off with an eye-glazing technical discussion than to
focus on the real problem, they like their "protection racket" just fine
and don't want you and yours messing up their apple cart!
What is needed: A
press release or letter from our Congressmen and Senators publicly mailed
to the Federal Communication Commission stating that their constituency
wish to expand opportunities for diverse ownership and programming on the
airwaves via the Low Power Radio Service with strong local ownership
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