TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Pirate Radio Stations Challenge Feds

Re: Pirate Radio Stations Challenge Feds

Scott Dorsey (
25 Sep 2006 20:22:18 -0400

mc <> wrote:
> Martha Mendoza <> wrote in message:

>> _When federal agents raided Free Radio Santa Cruz in 2004, a crowd of
>> several hundred protesters soon gathered at the 10-year-old broadcast
>> center -- including the mayor, who was shouting through a bullhorn. The
>> tires on the FCC agents' cars were slashed before they could leave, and
>> then they received parking tickets before they could repair them.

> Is Santa Cruz trying to secede from the United States, then? And even
> from the International Telecommunications Union?

The argument made by the mayor is that since the station is only
audible from within a small area that is entirely within the state,
the FCC, which holds its power by virtue of the Constitution's clause
enabling the government to regulate interstate commerce, cannot have

This argument has been tried before and not found to hold up in court.
But it IS interesting to see that enough people are annoyed about the
lack of community radio in this country to do something about it.

For years there was a 10W class-D allocation for educational stations,
which was very popular and widely used. It went away in 1978. More
recently the FCC has, due to demand, opened up low power FM
allocations. However, because the bands today are so crowded, it's
difficult to shoehorn those LPFM stations in-between existing station
contours. And for better or for worse, a large proportion of the LPFM
licenses have been bought up by Christian broadcasters, most of them
members of a small number of networks.

> I don't think any of these "rebels" realize is that the only reason
> they *have* clear channels to transmit on is that the FCC regulates
> radio. If there were no regulation, competitors would be free to jam
> each other and would do so.

I've seen this in some countries, and it has good and bad points.
Tune across the dial in Italy some time ...


"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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