Spending measure would scale back low-power radio plans
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON An alliance between commercial broadcasters and
public radio has won congressional support to undercut an administration plan
to create hundreds of new low-power radio stations.
Language in a spending measure passed by the House yesterday would
significantly scale back the Federal Communications Commission initiative to
create a micro-radio service for churches, community groups and schools.
President Clinton has threatened to veto the billcovering the
State, Justice and Commerce departmentsfor other reasons. In a letter to
lawmakers, the president also urged them to drop the provision that would
curtail the new low-power radio service.
The National Association of Broadcasters has fought the
administration's plan, saying it would interfere with existing FM radio.
National Public Radio has argued that the new low-wattage stations could
disrupt reading narration services for the blind carried by its members.
The two groups backed a provision which would only allow the FCC to
license a limited number of stations so that an independent entity could study
FCC Chairman William Kennard railed against corporate interests
lobbying Congress behind closed doors to curtail the plan.
"Public interest should always prevail over special interest," he said
Congress reins in FCC's effort to fill radio dial with low-power stations
But commissioners may begin licensure proceedings this week for handful of applicants that adhere to provisions of new law.
Low-power radio's friends, foes argue against FCC plan
Broadcast industry tells federal appeals panel that adding new FM stations would cause interference with existing channels; radio pirates question eligibility requirements.
Godfather of low-power radio back on air despite shutdown
Mbanna Kantako's Human Rights Radio had broadcast for nearly 13 years before the FCC seized station's equipment.