Berkeley to FCC:
PAUL GRIFFIN / Association of Micro-Power Broadcasters (AMPB) 29nov2006
In October of 2006, we had two FCC commissioners here in the SF Bay Area for a public meeting on media diversity and anybody who wanted to speak got two minutes (woo hoo!). There were lots of people who had a lot to say including yours truly. This is what I had to say:
Good day to you.
My name is Paul Griffin and I am speaking on behalf of the Association of Micro-Power Broadcasters. We are a group of radio and internet broadcasters, both authorized and unauthorized who share information and programs with each other.
First of all, let me say it's good to see you here today. We've been waiting a long time for this and it's about time.
Frankly, we are disgusted by the highest-bidder-take-all mentality at the FCC and if you are considering more of what you call "media deregulation", we've had quite enough of that, thank you.
The FCC has utterly failed in it's mission to protect access to the public airwaves and what we now see is a handful of super-rich corporations owning practically all the media in the USA.
For the "crime" of using the airwaves without a license, members of the AMPB have had their doors smashed in, personal property confiscated and guns put to their heads.
The less fortunate ones have been subject to house arrest and threatened with huge fines and jail sentences. You can call them pirates or whatever but the fact is, everyone involved in broadcasting has violated an FCC rule at one time or another.
We were quite encouraged when we first heard about former Chairman Bill Kanard's plan for a Low Power FM service.
Lots of people got in applications right away, but after Congress got done passing their Radio Broadcast Preservation Act, there was very little spectrum left for all the people who wanted to start up a community radio station.
Of course the FCC has licensed thousands of repeater stations for high-power broadcasters since then, but that's a separate issue.
What we want is a piece of the radio band between 85 and 88 megahertz set aside for micro-power radio only with minimal license fees and technical requirements, but we really don't expect you to ever do anything of the sort.
So why don't you just go back to DC, keep pulling down your big government paychecks, and leave us the F#*K ALONE! Thank you!
source: AMPB email newsletter
Graphic above by Eric Drooker