For John, BLUF: Government being about enforcement is not as good as government being about facilitation. Nothing to see here; just move along.
In today's edition of The Boston Globe is an article by Reporter Kathleen Conti, on pirate radios, headlined, in the dead tree edition, "Unlicensed radio is widespread in suburbs".
The gist of the story is that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken enforcement action against unlicensed radio stations in northeastern Massachusetts 37 times since 2003. That works out to be about five times a year.
To me, the real problem isn't low power pirate stations hurting the big stations so much as it is finding ways to serve small communities of people who are not otherwise being served. The article does talk about trying to fix the need, which is the real problem.
To address this, Congress approved the Local Community Radio Act, which opened up low-power FM stations for noncommercial uses, but there were only a few of those licenses available in the region. A window to apply for a low-power FM license opened briefly last fall, from Oct. 17 to Nov. 14, but it is unknown when or whether there will be another opportunity, Carter [T. Barton Carter, a professor of communication law at Boston University] said.It doesn't sound like the FCC is working overtime to help entrepreneurs meet the needs of these small, language limited, communities in our area. Nor, apparently, is Congress, really. Government should be about helping the little guy, as well as the big guy and it doesn't seem to be happening here.
Regards — Cliff