Dutch Ex-Radio/TV Fort Heading for Deconstruction?

The home of Radio and TV Noordzee, built for more than $5 million in 1964, 10km off the Netherlands coast, is slated for demolition. The stations operated for just four months before changes in the territorial waters limit expanded Dutch jurisdiction to the offshore platform and led to its forced closure.
All was not lost, however: Radio-TV Noordzee helped spawn what has become one of the Netherlands’ largest public broadcast foundations. According to Radio Netherlands, there is a small chance “REM Island” could be saved: Continue reading “Dutch Ex-Radio/TV Fort Heading for Deconstruction?”

Dutch Pirate Blowtorch Blowout

It’s tough to fully understand because it’s all in Dutch, but there was one hell of a pirate broadcast in Europe this past weekend. Radio Koning, Keizer, Admiraal (“King, General, Admiral”) took to the airwaves Friday on 97.0 FM, running 11,000 watts out of an antenna more than 100 meters tall.
The broadcast was the result of a combined effort of four pirate station-groups operating in the eastern Netherlands, laid on (in part) to protest the methodical sweep of the FM band carried out by the Dutch government in the past few years as part of a policy of spectrum commodification. Practically speaking, however, it was just one big party. Continue reading “Dutch Pirate Blowtorch Blowout”

Dutch Authorities Nearly Complete Free Radio Crackdown; Other Miscellany

Been a bit hectic between the last update and this one; this scattershot-ness will likely continue for the next month or so. The site itself still needs some work before it’s fully comfortable in its new home, so if you experience a hiccup in connectivity it’s just me f*cking around trying to set things right.
There have been several new reports of more pressure from the Dutch authorities on pirate stations in the Netherlands. For nearly a year Agentschap Telecom (the Dutch version of the FCC) has run “Project Etherflits,” a nationwide sweep designed to clear the band of extraneous signals so the government can finalize its sale of the broadcast spectrum to the highest bidder. The Zerobase Radio Frequency Policy, as currently written, does not contain provisions for community radio stations – only public and commercial outlets are to share the air. Continue reading “Dutch Authorities Nearly Complete Free Radio Crackdown; Other Miscellany”

Netherlands Radio Protest Successful

News is scant but it appears the weekend’s “100,000 Antennes” mass broadcast/protest in Amsterdam in support of free radio movement went off without incident. Dutch police and radio enforcement authorities apparently kept their cool and let the events take place without interfering. People have published few articles to Indymedia Netherlands as of yet, but one of them features an MP3 interview with U.S. microradio academic Ron Sakolsky, who traveled over to take part in the festivities.

Dutch Pirate Police Launch Major Crackdown; FCC Enforcement Stats Skew Toward Thuggery

The Netherlands is a small country: about 13,000 square miles, not quite twice the size of the state of New Jersey. But within its borders the Netherlands boasts one of the most vibrant pirate radio scenes in Europe, behind Italy and the United Kingdom. Literally hundreds of Dutch FM pirates are on the air, some running power levels measured in the kilowatts. There is also a thriving shortwave scene.
Until recently the Dutch government’s radiocommunications enforcement agency, Agentschap Telecom (AT), played lots of cat-and-mouse with pirate broadcasters. Most only got pressure to shut down if they were causing interference, although sporadic enforcement offensives have occurred over the last few years.
This has all changed with “Project Etherflits,” AT’s year-long pirate-hunting spree that kicked off in March. So far nearly 80 stations have been nabbed, including one simultaneous raid on 10 stations last month. Project Etherflits has led to the confiscation of gear galore and fines to station operators ranging between $1,200-$2,600 apiece. The pirates are reportedly organizing public protests in hopes of convincing lawmakers to rein in the hounds. Continue reading “Dutch Pirate Police Launch Major Crackdown; FCC Enforcement Stats Skew Toward Thuggery”

New Moves in the Netherlands

For years The Netherlands has been a hot-spot on the European pirate scene. Dozens, if not hundreds, of FM stations operate there with relative impunity. The impetus for Dutch pirates has been a cultural one – popular niche music (such as dance and electronica) are all but ignored by the country’s commercial outlets. Pirates have rushed to fill the void, using hundreds of watts of power in the process.
For a country less than twice the size of the American state of New Jersey, you’d think their “radio police” would have little problem shutting stations down. But the State Agency for Radiocommunications, or RDR, has been unable to clear the airwaves of pirates, who often resume broadcasting almost immediately after being caught.
Several tactics have been tried in the Dutch war against pirate radio. First the RDR issued stiff fines against unlicensed broadcasters, but many were overturned in court when the judges ruled that the RDR hadn’t collected “sufficient evidence” to justify the penalty. Measuring and monitoring an unlicensed radio signal is not enough – if agents don’t confirm the actual presence of a pirate transmitter with their own eyes, then there isn’t enough grounds to issue a fine. Continue reading “New Moves in the Netherlands”