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Fight for Airwave Freedom

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Lovers of low-power FM radio are trying to out-lobby large commercial radio lobbyists to get more low-powered radio stations on the air. Low-power radio movers and shakers asked Congress to approve legislation that would provide low-power radio stations more access to the airwaves, but commercial radio lobbyists argued that freeing up more spots on the radio frequencies for low-powered signals would only cause interference with existing larger, and mostly non-local, corporate-owned stations. Congress gave the free the airwaves idea a nay, but they did agree to study commercial lobbyists' claim that more low-power stations would muck-up signals from their mega stations. Results of the mandated study recently went public with the conclusion that there is only an infinitesimal chance that the signals from licensed low-power stations would interfere with full-power radio stations. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) heeded the study's conclusions and recently recommended Congress expand low-power FM service. If Congress sides with the FCC, you could wake up one day and find that more of those airwaves all around us are actually free airwaves. Think free has a nice ring to it? Then get on that phone or work the Web to urge Congress to pass Senate Bill 312.

-Carissa Wolf

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