NAB Lobbying Material

From : Tom Ness
April 7, 1999


We received a copy of the following from a confidential friend in
Washington. This is what the NAB is using to lobby Congress (or at least
some of what they are using). Obviously all their points are easily
refuted. We're going to do that with the Michigan delegation, and we hope
others will counter this nonsense with their own legislators.



Microbroadcasters are radio stations with less than 100 watts that
transmit signals within a five to 15 mile radius and are operating without
FCC licenses. Currently, there are thousands of pirate microradio stations
in operation all over the country. In addition to being an inefficient use
of the spectrum, the FCC has established that these pirate microradio
stations create hazardous interference problems, specifically with air
traffic control towers.

Recently, the FCC has stepped up enforcement against pirate radio. The
Commission has shut down more than 200 pirates over the past two years.
But Chairman Bill Kennard sees the pirate radio movement as an indication
of the public's need for access to broadcasting. In response, he is
floating a proposal to license microbroadcasters with one-watt AM/FM
stations as a means of expanding opportunities for station ownership.

Unfortunately, this proposal does nothing to address the interference
problems that will only increase if thousands of new microradio stations
are licensed. Also, the FCC has no means of monitoring these new stations
that may start out as one-watt stations but later seek to become full
power stations.


The NAB does not support microradio for the following reasons:

* The FCC has already stated that a micro- or low power service, of one to
100 watts, is an inefficient use of the spectrum;

* The development of digital radio technology depends on the existing
channel allocations. Adding thousands of new low power stations could
jeopardize broadcasters from ever implementing digital radio technology;

* The FCC does not have the resources to establish a new service that
could potentially add hundreds, if not thousands of new low power
stations. The Commission would face extraordinary burdens in licensing new
low power stations, solving interference problems, and policing power
cheaters if a low power service were established;

* The FCC should not establish an entirely new service to legitimize the
pirate broadcasters who are flagrantly violating the law as it exists

Issue Papers
Jan. '99"