Microradio, Today and Tomorrow

FCC Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps were in Seattle on November 30th to take more public testimony on the agency’s ongoing media ownership rules review. Reclaim the Media, packed the main auditorium of the Seattle Public Library and provided the Commissioners with four hours’ worth of testimony.
Just two weeks before the FCC’s visit, RtM also organized the Northwest Community Radio Summit, which featured three days of workshops on a wide range of issues. One of those was on The Case for Free Radio in the 21st Century” (1:00:34, 10.4 MB), hosted by members of the Free Radio Olympia collective. It provided a short overview of the history of unlicensed broadcasting and some of the more popular rationales for why it’s still advantageous to be a radio pirate in a post-LPFM world.
The discussion spends a good part of time discussing the legalities, both historical and contemporary, that may be employed to carve out more space for public access to the airwaves, though it does wing off into some more conspiratorial ancillaries, especially near the end.
Relatedly, Paul the Mediageek and I recently chatted on his radio show about FCC enforcement trends in 2006 and whether they really demonstrate an increase in the agency’s ongoing war against pirate radio.