Bush Announces Spectrum Management Overhaul

Yesterday president Bush issued a “Memo on Spectrum Policy,” which sets the stage for a fundamental reform of the way radio spectrum is used and managed in the United States. With the establishment of this “Spectrum Policy Initiative” the White House hopes to “unlock the economic value and entrepreneurial potential of U.S. spectrum assets while ensuring that sufficient spectrum is available to support critical Government functions.”
Claiming that “the existing spectrum [management] process is insufficiently responsive to the need to protect current critical uses,” the Memo outlines several tasks to begin immediately, involving the cooperation of more than a dozen government departments and agencies.
The effort will be headed up by the Department of Commerce and has two major goals: the first is to basically examine and overhaul the way the government uses spectrum for its own purposes. This sounds like a process of inventory-taking and, possibly, a whittling-away of some spectrum currently claimed for government use that sits mostly unused. This “freed” spectrum will likely be auctioned off to the highest bidder, ostensibly to allow for things like more wireless network traffic capacity. Continue reading “Bush Announces Spectrum Management Overhaul”

Recent Audio Goodness

Earl from Philly punksters The Ray Gradys dropped a to let me know they’d recorded an updated version of their song, “Pirate Radio,” and sent along an MP3 to share.
Damn, they’ve gotten a lot tighter since 1999 and the 40 Hour Slave E.P., though I’m still kind of partial to the rawness of the earlier version. A recent sweep for dead/broken links has led to the restoration of all of the featured mp3s in the archive. Get ’em before the RIAA busts me (six years and counting!). Continue reading “Recent Audio Goodness”

The Deed is Done: FCC Lifts Most Media Ownership Restrictions

It took only 90 minutes for the debate; calling the question took less than 15 seconds. And, as expected, the FCC voted along party lines (3-2) to significantly relax the rules restricting media ownership and consolidation, eliminating several of them completely. The agency’s news releases are full of sickening spin, but it does provide a decent overview of the new rules.
The biggest bonanzas appear to affect television ownership, where caps have been greatly relaxed, and cross-ownership of media outlets in all but a few large markets is now permitted. Mediageek’s Paul Riismandel has posted a more specific analysis of the changes to radio ownership rules.
Clear Channel might be stung by these changes but its freshly-endowed freedom to gobble up television stations and newspapers should more than compensate. The Big Ten must be having a collective orgasm over how much their empires will grow as a result of what happened today. Time to begin paying close attention to business news. Continue reading “The Deed is Done: FCC Lifts Most Media Ownership Restrictions”