Like Pump Up the Volume in Reverse

Weirdness in the name of “homeland security” – In April, a Florida company called Safety Cast applied for an experimental FCC license to test its Interceptor™ technology, which is designed to quickly inform communities about terrorist alerts, lost children messages, and other emergency situations.
Although radio stations are required to have equipment installed that can decode (and, in most cases, automatically relay) such bulletins via the Emergency Alert System, Safety Cast ups the ante. Using remote transmitters installed on emergency response vehicles, the Interceptor™ will broadcast these bulletins on all AM and FM frequencies – simultaneously – with a maximum coverage area of about a quarter-mile for each vehicle.
On June 11, the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology issued Safety Cast an experimental license to test three of its FM transmitters in Florida; then, in a spurt of second-thought, it cancelled the license two days later, citing “issues that must be studied further.”
One of those “issues” might be the fact that intentionally jamming the radio dial with a single signal for a quarter mile or more would normally result in a hefty fine, or maybe even prison time.
Put the transmitters in cop cars and you’re talking a completely different story!
Safety Cast’s president/CEO, Mark Foss, responded to the FCC’s concerns June 16, explaining that Interceptor™ units have GPS tracking capabilities: if each one is programmed with the locations of areas where it shouldn’t interfere with certain signals it will not transmit on those frequencies. However, he also notes that “our transmitters are designed to be heard on radios tuned to the weaker radio stations,” implying that some jamming will likely occur.
Thanks to our War on Terror™, the FCC had second thoughts about its second thought and is putting the Safety Cast technology up for a little quasi-formal public debate, the window for which is open until the end of this month.