Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

FCC Yanked High School Radio Station Broadcast Licenses

from the not-very-scholarly dept

Micromaster writes "While much of the tech world is focused on internet distribution for video, radio, and podcasts, the world of FM Radio is still alive and strong. So it makes sense to provide experience and learning at the Public School level to students as a way to learn broadcasting and communication skills while providing a public service. Many high schools have been on the air for years broadcasting local news, school information weather and other items of community interest. However, with limited frequencies available, large commercial and non-profit organizations are petitioning for and taking over frequencies used by these public school stations. The New York Times recently reported that in the past year alone at least 20 schools have had to fight off challenges to their licenses. One such station, WAVM-FM has been broadcasting since the early 1970's and has lost its license, pending appeal to the FCC, to the California-based religious group Living Proof Broadcasting." While, these days, it almost seems like students would be better off going with internet distribution anyway, it still seems extremely questionable to take away this high school's license.

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  1. identicon
    Michael Ward, 16 Jan 2006 @ 10:19am

    Re: frequency allocations

    Limited number of frequencies available in a congest spectrum area like greater Boston.

    As long as it was limited to 10 watts, the station was unlikely to interfere with other non-commercial broadcasters. Raising the power to 250 watts introduced the possibility of adjacent-channel or co-channel interference with other broadcasters.

    What is unclear from the article is why the FCC "simply gave away" the frequency to a non-local group like this obscure religious operation. Was the fix in? Are they raising money for somebody the FCC Chairman favors?

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