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TUCoPS :: Radio :: pressr~1.txt

National Lawyers Guild Committee on Democratic Communications welcomes LPFM




Committee on Democratic Communications National Lawyers Guild
558 Capp Street
San Francisco,  CA  94110
415.522.9814
fax 415.362-4119
http://www.nlgcdc.org

January 19, 2000

THE NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD COMMITTEE ON DEMOCRATIC COMMUNICATIONS, ON
BEHALF OF ITSELF, THE MICRORADIO EMPOWERMENT COALITION AND MICRORADIO
ACTIVISTS AROUND THE COUNTRY, WELCOMES THE NEW LPFM SERVICE AND REMAINS
COMMITTED TO HELPING CREATE A DIVERSE AND ACCESSIBLE LOCAL RADIO SERVICE

*****
 The National Lawyers Guild Committee on Democratic Communications
(NLGCDC), an activist organization devoted to protecting the Right to
Communicate of all people, welcomes the FCC's announcement today of the new
Low Power FM service. On behalf of our constituency, the pioneers and
activists of the microradio community, we applaud the FCC's emphasis on
creating a truly local and noncommercial low power service that will
increase the diversity of local voices on the public's airwaves.

Alan Korn, a San Francisco attorney and one of the architects of the micro
radio legal defense, states "We are gratified that after years of trying to
squelch the micro radio movement, the FCC now realizes that local,
community-based low power radio is desperately needed to counteract the
enormous centralization taking place in the broadcast industry since the
Telecommunications Act of 1996."

 The NLGCDC is especially pleased that the FCC has followed many of the
suggestions, raised in its formal Comments to NPRM 99-25, to establish a
non-commercial LPFM service to counteract the massive commercial
consolidation of the radio airwaves following the Telecommunications Act of
1996.  In our Comments, we suggested that the FCC create an LPFM service to
serve local communities with locally-produced radio programming, to enable
diverse and alternative voices to utilize the airwaves, and to encourage
radio service by and for traditionally unserved communities. We sincerely
hope that the FCC's LPFM service, if properly implemented, will achieve
these goals.

Nonetheless, the NLGCDC has a number of concerns that we hope the FCC will
address in the coming weeks and months.  First, we fear that any failure by
the FCC to require strict ownership limits of one station per local entity,
and to prevent LPFM license transfers, will counteract the service's goals
by allowing certain individuals and groups to dominate the new LPFM
service.  Second, we are concerned about the FCC's anticipated failure to
relax 2nd adjacent spacing requirements in urban centers like New York,
which will prevent new stations from going on the air and deny millions of
citizens from hearing the many diverse voices such a LPFM service may
offer.  Third, we hope that the licensing process will be accessible to all
interested members of the public and that frequencies will be allocated
equitably to those voices who do not currently have access to a broadcast
outlet.  Finally, we strongly support a complete amnesty for the microradio
pioneers who, through their political activism and civil disobedience,
helped to bring about this new LPFM service. To bar mircoradio pioneers
from the airwaves is equivalent to continuing to require Rosa Parks to ride
in the back of the bus.

For more information concerning the FCC's Low Power FM service, or about
the NLGCDC or Microradio Empowerment Coalition, please contact Alan Korn at
(415) 362-5700 or Amanda Huron at (202) 265-1843.


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