NPR Sick Of Howard Stern Butting In; Wants FCC To Recall FM Modulators
from the interference-problems dept
A few years back, the UK decided to ban certain FM modulators such as the "iTrip" device that would let you broadcast your iPod a short distance at a low frequency on your radio, claiming that it was breaking the law that banned "pirate" radio stations -- even if it could only broadcast a few feet. Earlier this year however, a bunch of radio stations in the US started complaining that these FM modulators from both things like the iTrip and that were popular with satellite radio systems were causing problems on the road. Basically, as someone drove by with one of those modulators, the broadcast would break into other passing cars' radios. In order to make it clear what a problem this was, they talked of things like Howard Stern and gangsta rap breaking into Christian radio stations. This seemed a little silly, but at the same time, the FCC began an investigation into reports that the modulators from XM and Sirius went beyond specifications. Apparently, NPR isn't happy with the FCC's efforts so far. They conducted their own study, which found that 40% of the devices exceed FCC limits and are demanding that the FCC recall the devices. A separate study by the National Association of Broadcasters also found that more than 75% of the device exceed their power limits. It may be true that these devices exceed the set limits, but it still seems to take things a bit far to claim that "these modulators pose a significant threat" to public radio. There's nothing wrong with recalling the devices if they do exceed the set specs, but it's hardly such a threat. In fact, as the article notes, when the modulators are set to the proper levels, it's possible that the reverse happens: and NPR signals will break into people listening to Howard Stern on their satellite radio. Will that pose just as significant a threat?