The FCC and their mainstream radio cohorts feel extremely threatened by low power radio stations and have historically, shut down and hindered low power efforts at diversifying our radio airwaves. Low power radio is an affordable, efficient and extremely demonstrative way of reaching out to your community through radio. This latest action obviously does a good job at shutting down low power radio because the FCC is literally kicking and stomping their feet like in a tantrum to make sure the little guy doesn’t get any:
‘At 6:58 this morning, June 22, 2005, armed with a warrant issued by a Burlington magistrate, United States Marshals entered the studios of radio free brattleboro and seized its broadcasting equipment. The seizure of equipment and shutdown of radio free brattleboros local broadcasts under authority of a warrant issued in Burlington comes while an action is still pending before Judge J. Garvan Murtha in the federal court in Brattleboro.’
— from Prometheus Radio‘s Hannah Sassaman and other low power activists.
We’re about 2 and half hours away from Brattleboro — and any blockage of people taking away low power radio equipment may be in order. We’re talking about low power FM — which is a community-based model for doing radio with the power to reach out to people within a 3.5 mile radius of the station. Churches, indie music enthusiasts, expert ‘fringe’ genre music goers, public news services, educational institutions and groups, rural areas, and American Indian Reservations use low power as a vehicle to get out their locally-generated content. When people can hear you, more locally-generated content will get made — this is why low power is so important. Low power radio == public interest as peer2peer == public interest as open source == public interest. Go to Prometheus’ webpage to find a low power station near you and help fight for more to come (if you listen to NPR, when you give them your money, let them know you think they should support LPFM, see what they can do to help). There is also a (pretty darn rare) barnraising this August to help build a new low power station in Florence, Massachusetts. You can sign up to help out here.