Evil Empire to Roll Out ISP?; Stock Market Sponsors Rumsfeld Show

We’ve been keeping tabs on a little-publicized project that Clear Channel has been testing in Cincinnati: offering internet access via digital television. The project, first dubbed the “Delta V Internet Accelerator,” offered 256kbps download speeds to residential subscribers in the Cincinnati area by sending data to subscribers’ computers via a sideband on WKRC‘s new DTV signal.
Clear Channel owns or controls nearly 40 television stations around the country, and it appears that the company is preparing to launch its ISP service nationwide. Delta V has been re-branded as WebHopper, its website has been redesigned, and a “Business”-level 768kbps service class has been added. Continue reading “Evil Empire to Roll Out ISP?; Stock Market Sponsors Rumsfeld Show”

Big-Ups to FCC Goons

It’s about time the folks at gatekeeper.fcc.gov showed up for a look-see; they took in 14 pages late last week.
There’s plenty of unresolved numerical IPs that hit this site, and many government agencies contract out their telecommunications services (like internet access), especially at field offices. But it sure is nice to finally get hits from the HQ, so to speak. Continue reading “Big-Ups to FCC Goons”

FCC Gives Entercom "Bonus" AM Station in Kansas City: A Sign of Things to Come?

In a little-publicized ruling on November 20, The FCC gave Entercom a special waiver involving its expanded AM band radio station in Kansas City. The waiver is disturbing on several levels. But first, some history:
The AM broadcast band used to span from 540 to 1600 kHz. In 1997, the FCC adopted a rulemaking expanding the upper end of the AM band to 1705 kHz. Over the years leading up to this, the FCC had gradually relaxed interference and channel spacing rules for AM stations, leading to lots of interference, especially at night, when some AM stations must reduce power levels or sign off completely. Continue reading “FCC Gives Entercom "Bonus" AM Station in Kansas City: A Sign of Things to Come?”

Kentucky Shortwave Militia Pirate Arrested In North Carolina

“Colonel” Steve Anderson, a former member of the Kentucky State Militia kicked out of the group for his operation of a shortwave pirate radio station advocating white supremacy, was arrested yesterday in the mountains of North Carolina. According to the story in the link above, it’s implied that Anderson had a license for his radio station but got it revoked by the FCC. This is incorrect. Anderson once held an amateur radio license which was revoked by the FCC, but he never had any permission to operate on the shortwave broadcast bands.
Anderson used to run “Kentucky State Militia Radio (KSMR)” out of his rural home, running 300 watts of power on two shortwave frequencies. His openly racist rhetoric and the fact that he named the station after the state militia alarmed the militia’s commanding officers, who kicked him out of the group and publicly disowned him in 2001. Continue reading “Kentucky Shortwave Militia Pirate Arrested In North Carolina”

Lucky Bastards

I got the following request for ideas from a merry band of microbroadcasters located somewhere in flyover country. They have a problem – one most microradio stations would kill to be saddled with.
This particular station recently moved to a new location in a building on top of which is a three-story steel smokestack (pictured at right, click for a larger photo). The smokestack isn’t in use anymore and our friends would love to use it as a mast for their antenna. They have permission from the building owner but nobody can figure out a plausible way to: Continue reading “Lucky Bastards”

FMC Rebuts FCC; Miscellaneous Piracy Afoot

The Future of Music Coalition, a group of independent musicians and socially-conscious inside-the-Beltway lobbyists, released a study today calling into question the FCC’s official reports on the effects of deregulation on the radio industry. FMC’s study uses a statistical analysis of radio industry ownership trends and the playlists of radio formats, coupled with a small public survey, to paint a significantly different picture of the state of radio than the FCC’s analysis.
According to the report, the idea of judging diversity of voices on the airwaves by the number of program formats available is absurd. Some formats overlap in their choice of music – some by as much as 76% – while in many markets there is quite a bit of format redundancy (two stations that basically play the same stuff). And when it comes to news, four companies program all the stations that two-thirds of Americans listen to for news.
Among survey respondents, an overwhelming majority favor localism over cluster-programmed stations, think there’s too much advertising on the radio now, and want the new low-power FM service expanded. Continue reading “FMC Rebuts FCC; Miscellaneous Piracy Afoot”

Once on the Short List for FCC Commissioner, Now Clear Channel Lobbyist

Andrew Levin, currently the top adviser to the ranking Democrat congresscritter on the House Energy and Commerce Committee (the body with the most power over media regulation), is leaving government service to work for Clear Channel Communications.
Levin was once considered a front-runner for a seat on the Federal Communications Commission as one of its two Democrats. Instead, he’ll be opening up a Clear Channel lobbying office in Washington, where he’ll serve as “Senior Vice President for Government Relations.” Continue reading “Once on the Short List for FCC Commissioner, Now Clear Channel Lobbyist”

Could Wi-Fi go Hi-Fi?, Prometheus to Assemble "Dictionary of Noise"

With low power FM mostly confined to the hinterlands, activists interested in expanding access to the airwaves are looking at other areas of the electromagnetic spectrum to squat. Kyle Drake has been reading some interesting stuff about the use of wireless networks operating at low powers with large coverage areas in the frequencies above one gigahertz (1 GHz).
In order to spur discussions on the idea of creating a new “citizen’s broadcast band (CBB),” Kyle’s set up a simple web forum. So far, a few are kicking the tires on the concept in a positive light, approaching the proposal from multiple perspectives. Not all think heading into such high-frequency territory is the solution – but it’s the thought that counts. Contribute yours! Continue reading “Could Wi-Fi go Hi-Fi?, Prometheus to Assemble "Dictionary of Noise"”

Bad Spin Alert: Feds Raid Michigan Militia Microradio Station

Mark Koernke, a member of the Michigan militia, has been in prison for two years after leading police on a high-speed chase. While he’s been out of circulation, someone has been running an unlicensed microradio station from his home in the village of Dexter. The station can apparently only be heard for a couple of miles and mostly runs information sympathetic to the militia.
It’s an undisputed fact that people involved with militias love weaponry. So, when federal marshals went to raid the station on Wednesday, they should not have been shocked to find a shitload of it on the Koernke property.
Seeing the stuff apparently sent the FCC men and their badge-carrying chaperones into some sort of fit, as they called in the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms and any other police they could find in the surrounding several square miles. Continue reading “Bad Spin Alert: Feds Raid Michigan Militia Microradio Station”

FCC To Public on Media Review: Screw Your Interest

Last month, a coalition of consumer advocacy, labor and professional performance groups banded together to petition the Federal Communications Commission to extend the time for the public to comment on a massive rulemaking that threatens to let today’s large media conglomerates get even bigger.
The coalition sought an additional three to six months to collect public input on the proposed hyper-consolidation effort and also requested access to the data the FCC used to produce a dozen reports which are (surprise!) mostly in favor of allowing more media consolidation. Continue reading “FCC To Public on Media Review: Screw Your Interest”