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Scrappy upstart community radio stations scored a big victory last week against larger and louder-mouthed stations that horn in on their turf and drown out their signals. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the Federal Communication Commission’s authority to protect the fledgling radio operations, known as “low power FM” in radio jargon, from encroachment by full power stations.
The Jun. 5 ruling is great news for local radio everywhere – expect D.C., that is. Oddly, we don’t have community radio. Richmond, Fredericksburg, Ocean City, Del., and nearly 40 other cities and towns around the country have low power stations. But, here in the nation’s capital, our options are sadly limited.
What’s up with that?
But, there’s still time to take to the low powered airwaves before the biggies regroups. If anybody’s interested in launching D.C.’s premier community station, check out the Prometheus Radio Project. The nonprofit network goes by the motto, “freeing the airwaves from corporate control,” and offers budding broadcasters everything but a starter kit.