The Local Community Radio Act, HR 1147, passed out of the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet in a 15-1 vote on October 7th, was approved by the full committee (House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet) on October 15th by voice vote, sending it to the house floor.
If the bill passes the full house vote, the FCC will again license non-commercial users to broadcast FM radio signals at powers ranging from 1-100 watts, depending on circumstances, enough to cover a radius of 3 miles or so–a neighborhood, in other words.
Commercial broadcasters, led by the National Association of Broadcasters, opposes the act, falsely claiming that these low power stations will interfere with their higher-power commercial stations, and actually objecting to the use of radio frequencies by anybody but them.
The start-up costs aren’t trivial, a couple thousand bucks for a transmitter and antenna, and licensing won’t be a slam-dunk either, but there is a clear potential for expanding the impact of community organizations.
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