The station shut down earlier this week in preparation for moving out of its present space by the end of the month. The Berkeley Daily Planet was there, and reports that things ended with a party:
The small broadcasting studio grew ever more crowded as the last hour wound down, voices raised in pitch and speed as the clock counted down the final few minutes. Continue reading “Berkeley Liberation Radio Packs Up, For Now”
More newspapers now have articles on the raid of radio free brattleboro, and V-Man has an interview with station co-founder Larry Bloch. It sounds like the station is still absorbing the shock of the raid, especially since it was conducted during a time when the station was automated, thereby avoiding the outright conflict most raids cause. (FCC agents have already had one run-in with Brattleboro citizens before, which they didn’t seem to enjoy.)
The government estimates it stole about $15,000 worth of gear; the station had no backup cache. If I remember correctly rfb runs on a pretty involved consensus model, which means a rebound might take some time. Continue reading “Press Review: RFB Follow-up and The Power of God(casting)”
An early-morning raid today backed by Federal Marshals has rfb off the air. The FCC had secured a warrant for arrest of the transmitter and associated gear “from a Burlington magistrate,” which means it did not come from the Brattleboro-based judge hearing the station’s case. Surprisingly, they actually left some gear behind (not much, but it wasn’t a complete scouring).
This is a highly unusual move as the FCC has typically let any court proceedings play out before attempting another enforcement tack. In fact, the station’s reaction to the raid notes that it had dropped its own attempt to secure an injunction against the FCC because of assurances that the agency would keep the dispute in the realm of the courts. Apparently a lack of patience caused the agency to renege. Continue reading “FCC Raids radio free brattleboro”
Freshly back from the 2005 Allied Media Conference, which definitely lives up to its hype. I didn’t get a good sense of just how many people were there in total, but the AMC bowling party was definitely overflowing. The microradio workshop went off great (I caught nobody napping). The dulcet sounds of pirate radio songs, bust audio, and the KJR culture jam simulcast could be heard throughout the Bowling Green State University student union for the duration of Saturday. Now it’s time to hope that inspiration takes root.
With three AMC sessions going on at any given time I ended up flitting between various things, except for Sunday, when I indulged in the conference film festival. Most of the panel sessions were taped, although the raw audio is of variable quality. I met a lot of talented and passionate people doing amazing work, like further exploration of the “hybrid radio” concept (webcasting plus microradio), turnkey tactical webcasting, radical librarianship, and oodles more. Continue reading “AMC Rocks Haus; FCC Drops Lit @ BLR”
The seventh annual Allied Media Conference kicks off today in Bowling Green, Ohio. Hundreds of radical media activists from around the country will converge on the scene to share skills and plot projects. The microradio workshop goes down late Saturday morning. Says the schedule:
This session will provide an overview of the national microradio scene, current FCC policy and enforcement trends, and the prospects for expanded legal LPFM radio. It will also feature a working demonstration of a microradio station, to show just how easy it is to take back the airwaves. As a part of this demonstration we will discuss various operational tactics to mitigate exposure and enforcement concerns. Continue reading “AMC Ahoy!”
According to this article in the Brattleboro Reformer, the FCC spent the last 15 months ignoring judge J. Garvan Murtha’s concerns about the lack of local access to the airwaves. That’s why he denied the agency’s request for a temporary injunction against rfb in the first place.
Instead, the best assistant U.S. Attorney Michael P. Drescher can come up with, apparently, is “we don’t give out licenses to 10-watt stations, therefore radio free brattleboro must not broadcast.” Which is not exactly true: the FCC’s LPFM service contains a provision for so-called “LP-10” stations that would broadcast with 10 watts or less, but it has never solicited applications for LP-10 stations. How can a station acquire a license the FCC maintains on its books but refuses to issue? Continue reading “FCC Seeks Summary Judgment in radio free brattleboro Case”
There’s lots of telecommunications-related legislation in the works this year, including a potential rewrite of the entire Telecommunications Act; a move to force broadcast television to make the break from analog to digital; and a bevy of bills that could fundamentally shift the way cable systems and phone companies are regulated and interact at the local level with the communities they serve. That’s why low power radio advocates think the timing is right to push for an expansion of LPFM via Congress: the stakes are so much higher on so many other issues that a chance exists to squeak through something positive.
In February, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) introduced a bill to expand LPFM back out to the parameters the FCC had originally defined for the service in 2000. Before the end of the month a similar bill will be introduced in the House of Representatives, sponsored by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY). The bill was to drop on June 9th but lacked demonstrable Republican support. Without such backing any LPFM legislation in the House is all but DOA. Continue reading “LPFM on Capitol Hill”
Not so much in the format sense as locationally: the NYC-based radio-as-canvas collective is opening up action on a second front. It’s two and a half hours upstate, on 30 acres of woodland! Dubbed the Wave Farm, it “will host occasional performances, as well as an artist residency program called AIRtime.”
The Wave Farm opens July 4th with Tune(Out))) Side, an afternoon and evening of 50 performers on five frequencies. Later in the month is Campfire Sounds, “a weekend of avant folk.” In August the Wave Farm will host workshops devoted to “broadcasting/webcasting, performing with video, organic gardening, and music improvisation,” catering to both kids and adults.
It might very well be the first ever incubator devoted specifically to the transmission arts. Sounds like a special place in the making.
California: Skidmark Bob just interviewed Monkey of the infamous Pirate Cat Radio. Monkey scored an early copy of Stephen Dunifer’s TV transmitter kit and put Pirate Cat TV on the air six months ago; its 80-watt signal can be seen on Channel 13 in the San Francisco area. Programming consists of a growing catalog of DIVX .avi files on a homebrew server with a terabyte of storage, and the station is actively soliciting more content.
As for Pirate Cat Radio, Monkey says there’s about 30 DJs presently, and the dues-paying fundraising model takes care of their needs. At the end of the interview he says the station will soon “upgrade” from 220 to 1,000 (!) watts, mostly by moving to a directional antenna system. Continue reading “Scene Reports: California, Illinois”
Things are in a somewhat strange state of flux at the FCC regarding the controversy involving speculation and trafficking in FM translator stations, at the expense of spectrum for more LPFM outlets. On March 18 the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) which seeks to expand the LPFM service; it also included a six-month freeze on the processing of any more translator applications from the flood dumped on the agency in 2003. However, the rulemaking itself has yet to be formally published in the Federal Register.
Publication in the Register is an important step in the regulatory process. Typically, agencies do not start the clock on a regulatory proceeding until it has been formally published in the Register. In this case, it would formally start the FCC’s comment and reply-comment period, which is supposed to run for up to 45 days following Register publication. Continue reading “Translator Crusades: D.C. Update”