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TWO SOLUTIONS to a radio dial whose control is overly concentrated, destroying democratic debate and exchange:
 
ONE: CREATE OPPORTUNITY

1a) The Low Power Radio Service. Open the gaps between full power stations for legal use. Only allow new and new local control thus encouraging diversity of decisions on programming.

1b) Create opportunity by challenging taxpayer funded radio's airing of commercially viable services at the expense of "The Rest Of U.S."

1c) Help preserve one of the most effective community radio efforts (Pacifica).
Resist those who would subjugate community control to corporate control.

TWO: DIVEST MONOPOLY

2a) Divest the near monopoly on radio station ownership caused by the 1996 Telecom Act.
Urge Congress to repeal the 1996 Telecom Act.

2b)Prevent the FRAUD of "Digital Radio and TV" from gobbling up the independent broadcaster and the small civic radio stations.
Urge Congress to support the working world standardfor digital. 
That will prevent displacement.

The current concentration of control of radio is causing a corrosive loss of public participation in the making of American Civilization. We are supposed to be at the wheel, but we have been largely pulled and pushed away and now the USS U.S. is headed for the icebergs. Like the Titanic, the "Master(s) of the Universe" think that they should be pushing our leaders to do things that the leaders know are wrong. The Masters of the Universe think that nothing can go wrong, and when it does, they will shamelessly jump on a lifeboat and let "The Rest Of U.S." pay the ultimate price.

Are we looking? Will we turn in time?

Consider The Problem:

SOLUTIONS: COMPARE
ONE: CREATE OPPORTUNITY

1a) The Low Power Radio Service. Open the gaps between full power stations for legal use. Only allow new and new local control thus encouraging diversity of decisions on programming.

1b) Create opportunity by challenging taxpayer funded radio's airing of commercially viable services at the expense of "The Rest Of U.S."

1c) Help preserve one of the most effective community radio efforts (Pacifica).
Resist those who would subjugate community control to corporate control.


Last year, the FCC received over 13,000 requests from people wishing to build their positive alternative to the increasingly bland and mainstream chain-radio stations of the large McChurches, NPR government radio stations and the corporate chain stations. 

Many were told that the current rules by which the FCC allows use of the public commons, the airwaves don't allow for any more legal stations to be started. The Great Gaping Gaps of static between existing full power "legal"  radio   stations seemed to be a result of an artificially created scarcity from requiring more space between stations than were actually necessary. 

Thousands responded with Civil Disobedience in the finest American Tradition of the Boston Tea Party, the Civil Rights Sit Ins etc. Thousands built illegal community radio stations, low power "Microradio" radio stations that are affordable to small businesses, churches and civic organizations. Because these stations are operating without the blessing of the FCC that they paid taxes to support ... they have often been referred to as "pirate" radio stations. 

NOW THE FCC IS PROPOSING TO CREATE NEW OPPORTUNITIES:

Click here for more information on  The Low Power Radio Service and: 
HOW those who profit from an artificially tight market oppose new competitive opportunity. 
HOW you can fight back 
HOW you can apply for a station of your own 



1b) Save NPR for "The Rest of U.S."
Reinstate the original purpose of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting:  SAVE NPR: PUT THE "PUBLIC" BACK IN PUBLIC BROADCASTING: 
Support the Low Power Radio Service to provide competition in the noncommercial nonreligious radio arena. [HOW]
 



1c) Save Pacifica Radio, the original community radio.
Pacifica Radio has decided that they want to reach more people. No problem, except that they want to do this by "mainstreaming" one of the FEW radio station/networks dedicated to serving the minority in America not already served by other stations/networks. 
Pacifica could instead expand the availability of their programming by:
1c1) Promoting their programming for those with satellite dishes to receive it on the audio channels for free.
1c2) Promoting the Low Power Radio Service that could enable hundreds of new minority-culture stations to carry Pacifica programming.

Pacifica was started in 1949 by a Pacifist Quaker named Lew Hill. Hill's dream was that to prevent another debacle like WWII, we had to ensure that everyone has a chance to be heard, not just the most profitable of us.

SAVE PACIFICA:[HOW]
There Should be more than one outlet for all the "Rest Of U.S."
TWO: DIVEST MONOPOLY

2a) Divest the near monopoly on radio station ownership caused by the 1996 Telecom Act.

2b)Prevent the FRAUD of "Digital Radio and TV" from gobbling up the independent broadcaster and the small civic radio stations.



In the late 80s, radio station operators complained bitterly that they were not enjoying the double digit inflation (oh, excuse me, "growth") of their earnings as they had in the past. The broadcasters threatened that if they could not merge the staffs of stations, then stations would begin closing thus denying the public a diverse array of formats. 

The Republican Contract with America (some say "on America") responded by creating the 1996 Telecom Act that removed virtually all effective restrictions on ownership and other forms of control of radio  stations. 

As a result, the large institutions have gone on a merger/control frenzy. 

Now we still have to suffer with 6 or 7 gospel stations, 8 or 9 "oldies" stations for the Baby Boomers and a slew of nearly entirely conservative or closet-conservative "moderate" talk and news stations ... 
And NO service for major portions of the American Experience. 

THERE ARE THOSE WHO THINK THAT THE 1996 TELECOM ACT WAS A BIG MISTAKE AND ARE CALLING FOR REPEAL.

COUNTERACT THE 1996 TELCOM ACT MONOPOLY TREND. [HOW]

Don't Fall For The Digital Fraud:
 

How would you like Digital Radio if:

  • It took 5 seconds to "buffer" everytime you scanned or jumped to the next station
  • You get "CD-Quality sound" ... but only for the strong stations. The weak college or minority station that spoke to your soul is totally unrecievable.
  • Instead of the flickering stereo light and fuzzing you now get when an airplane goes by or a truck or bridge causes "picket fencing" ... your radio now will cut on and off as if attached to the blinker!
The current Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) scheme (Called "IBOC DAB") proposed for US citizens has an achilles heel they don't want you to know about: 

While Digital radio can theoretically bring you "CD-Quality" sound ... the near uselessness of digital radio will more than destroy what microscopic gain slightly better sound would provide. Most likely the engine/road noise will prevent you from hearing the better sound ... but you will notice the major loss of programming diversity when the smaller/weaker minority programmed stations are no longer received.

IBOC DAB stands for In Band On Channel. That means that it will put the digital signal on the outside egdes of existing FM stations, like a cloak. This cloak will be easily shredded by passing trucks, buildings etc.

IBOC DAB suffers also from "The Shelf Effect." 
This means as the signal weakens, instead of it gradually getting noisier and then going from stereo to mono, it continues to sound clear ... until ... with no warning whatsoever ...
it just stops ....  total silence. 

When  whatever dropped the signal strength below the "threshold" of the digital decoder's ability to "hear" the digital signal allows the signal to rise a bit ... then it comes back on, then off again, then on again ... like a demon blinker!

This will be much like trying to tune some of these modern VCRs that instead of  showing a snowy screen of a favorite distant station, they show a blue screen with no sound either!! Your choices went from snowy distant with program you wanted to  ... NO CHOICE AT ALL!

WORKING Alternative Already In Use Elsewhere

What is especially disgusting is that a working method of DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) already exists and is in use by Canada, Britain, France and Germany. 

The world standard for DAB is called "Eureka 147" and uses higher frequencies to do a better job just the same as FM uses higher frequencies to do a better job than AM.

The world standard for most uses of the "Eureka 147" system is 1400Mhz (the "L-Band").

The National Association of Broadcasters(NAB) originally  supported the superior Eureka system ... but the US military did not want to give up use of the L-Band. The NAB then supported the technically inferior (but politically more acceptable) IBOC method.
As a result, the IBOC method lay around for years with no substantial effort to implement it.

Then came thousands upon thousands of requests for frequencies to build radio stations with programming designed to compete with the NAB stations AND SUDDENLY IBOC WAS THE "SECOND COMING OF CHRIST" FOR THE BROADCASTERS!!!

Digital radio as it is currently proposed is nothing but a sham, designed to keep you and yours off the radio dial. If the IBOC is chosen, it will also further reduce competition for the "Big Boy Broadcasters" because you receiver will no longer pick up the weaker eclectic and distant stations.

SUPPORT CHOICE IN PROGRAMMING
2b1) Call your Congressman, tell them to support the world standard for digital radio -- called "Eureka 147". 
2b2) Call your Congressman, tell them to protect the Low Power TV stations from being bumped off the air to provide corporate welfare for the big stations.

Links on The Issue of the Digital Fraud:

DON'T FALL FOR THE FRAUD. SUPPORT AN LPRS THAT PUSHES THE U.S. TO JOIN THE WORLD IN SUPPORTING INTELLIGENT DIGITAL THAT WORKS
[HOW]

YOU MUST ACT IN YOUR SELF INTEREST.

This site is intended to be a starting point toward enabling you to be informed so that you may make informed rational demands on those who make policy decisions, the consequences of which affect your life.
 

1) CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSPERSON/SENATOR.
Ask that they support the "Low Power Radio Service" (LPRS) proposal that is being considered by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) in September. [Click here to read more about the LPRS]

1a) The sooner the better to give those in the FCC that sympathize with diverse programming time to build support for the vote sometime in September.

1b) The sooner the better to show those in the Senate/Congress who will vote on the reauthorization of the FCC this summer that there is broad public support for the FCC stepping out on a limb and opposing the anticompetitive attempts by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to squash opportunity. National Association of Broadcasters wish to keep your airwaves to themselves



CLICK HERE TO LOOK UP YOUR REPRESENTATIVES BY ZIP CODE

2) ASK YOUR CONGRESSPERSON/SENATOR to support STRONG OWNERSHIP RESTRICTIONS for the LPRS stations.

2a) The NAB stations are seeking to convince the FCC that it "shouldn't create 'schism' between existing small and minority broadcasters and new LPFM broadcasters by restricting full-power broadcasters' access to LPFM licenses"
It is illegal to deny a station application based on skin color. Once the FCC allows a "minority" owner of an existing full-power station to apply to expand with a Low Power Radio Station, the large (and largely economic/cultural elite white) institutions will then sweep in and get them all before the small unheard local (and usually minority) voices get a chance. The NAB represents most of the very same large institutions that have cooperated with each other to devastate the ownership of minority owned and/or programmed radio stations in the first place.
So since it is illegal to address the lack of diversity by only giving licenses to "minorities", the best way to encourage diversity is to only allow ONE STATION PER OWNER, period, nationally. Unfortunately the FCC has historically done the opposite, allowing massive consolidation during the last decade. This is the first time that may be reversed.
Please tell your representative to resist this attempt to take the LPRS stations away from "The Rest Of U.S." by coopting the LPRS service.

2b) The local  and new local only LPRS station owners/board of directors should ALL be registered to vote within 50 miles of the antenna.

2b1) Only new owners that have no other media interests can apply for and own an LPRS station.
Only new local owners can apply for and own/control the LPRS stations.

2c) The LPRS station cannot be sold except to people/organizations that meet the stringent ownership restrictions.

3) ASK YOUR CONGRESSPERSON/SENATOR TO SUPPORT AMERICA USING THE WORLD STANDARD FOR GOING TO DIGITAL RADIO:

3a) The world is using a standard method for digital radio called "Eureka 147" that creates a third "digital band" on the radio dial rather than trying to  wedge digital stations onto the FM or AM band. The world chose Eureka 147 because it is a tough technology that works.

The NAB originally supported Eureka 147 until the US military would not allow use of the "L-Band" (1400 Mhz) that is best suited for the  Eureka 147 system that nearly everyone else is now using.

So the NAB switched to supporting a vastly inferior technology called IBOC (In Band On Channel) that would attempt to stuff the digital signal into the FM and AM bands.

IBOC languished for years with no  substantial action UNTIL THE LPRS  proposal came out.

Now all of a sudden the NAB is so urgently interested in getting the inferior IBOC into use or at least consideration.

The NAB claims that IBOC is the only answer, and IBOC must occupy the spaces on the edges of the current radio stations (and therefore decrease the spaces in between that might otherwise be occupied with competing LPRS stations, your stations).

The only reason to press for IBOC at this point is to prevent the establishment of competition opportunities with the LPRS.

DON'T FALL FOR THE FRAUD!! Ask your Elected Representative to support us joining the wise world in using the Eureka 147 system.
 


RETURN to Radio 4 "The Rest Of U.S."