15 to 1 - Low Power FM gets high-powered support in a House subcommittee.
This is another major legislative battle the NAB’s going to have to fight in the full House, now that it’s out of the subcommittee and will likely dance through Henry Waxman’s Commerce Committee. The Performance Rights Act is at the same stage – strong committee support, but the broadcasters group has to persuade the leadership that it would be futile to bring it up before the full House. What happened yesterday? It was a big psychological victory for the friends of grassroots community radio. All five members of the Genachowski FCC now support the bill, which would give the Commission authority to license many hundreds of new 100-watt FM stations. They’d be available in even the largest markets, which currently can’t squeeze in new LPFMs because the Commission’s obligated to protect full-power stations on their third-adjacent frequency. HR 1147 would remove third-adjacent protection – and open the floodgates. The amount of filings alone would be pretty overwhelming. Proponents have been fighting to overcome the power of the NAB and individual broadcasters since the original 2000 bill that created the Low Power FM service.***
Low Power Radio Advances in Congress
House Energy and Commerce Committee Passes Local Community Radio Act
October 15, 2009
WASHINGTON -- The House Committee on Energy and Commerce voted unanimously on Thursday to pass the Local Community Radio Act (HR 1147). The legislation, introduced by Reps. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) and Lee Terry (R-Neb.), would open the public airwaves to hundreds of new Low Power FM radio stations in communities across the country. The bill has strong bipartisan support and more than 80 co-sponsors in the House. The bill now moves to the full House.
Craig Aaron, senior program director of Free Press, made the following statement:
"Today’s vote is a major victory for radio listeners looking for local voices on the air, a testament to the power of bipartisan cooperation, and a tribute to the tireless advocacy of groups like the Prometheus Radio Project and its allies. Low Power FM stations will put community news, independent music and fresh perspectives back on the radio dial. Today’s vote is the furthest this bill has gotten in the House -- and the finish line is finally in sight. We commend Chairman Waxman and Reps. Doyle and Terry for their leadership on this issue and their unwavering support for LPFM. The full Congress should move as quickly as possible to pass this important and long overdue legislation."
19 ottobre 2009
FM low power USA, presto la discussione parlamentare?
E' sicuramente un piccolo ma importante segno della profonda trasformazione culturale vissuta dagli Stati Uniti della presidenza Obama. La scorsa settimana l'iter nuova legge bipartizan sull'emittenza low power in banda FM (100 Watt) ha ricevuto l'ok a fortissima maggioranza da parte del Comitato Energia e Commercio. Se questa legge passerà in Parlamento - e ormai ci sono tutti i presupposti - ci saranno centinaia di nuove licenze su frequenze che in base alla precedente normativa, condizionata dalla National Association of Broadcasters, facevano da guardia ai canali delle stazioni più potenti. La nuova legge a tutela del localismo e delle comunità etniche e no profit, aprirà la strada alle piccole stazioni anche nelle città più importanti e profittevoli per le emittenti commerciali. Comprensibile la reazione positiva della associazione Free Press tra i fautori della normativa (il cui testo è disponibile qui). La NBA invece si trova con una gatta da pelare in più, superata forse soltanto dalla questione sui pagamento dei diritti musicali che il Performance Rights Act vuole imporre alle stazioni radio.