FCC Seeks Summary Judgment in radio free brattleboro Case

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?
No matter – the Rosa Parks provision in the LPFM rules prohibits anyone involved in radio free brattleboro from applying for a license. Not that this has come up in rfb’s case specifically, but you can see how it complicates things.
Meanwhile, a group called Vermont Earth Works has secured a construction permit to build a 100-watt LPFM station in Brattleboro. Those involved with rfb have long declared once that station is ready to go on the air, rfb will be ready to disband. If that happened it would obviously negate the court case. From talking with an rfb volunteer in St. Louis last month, it sounds like they’re keeping their options open at this point. The next move is the judge’s.