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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Article: Communities Use Low Power FM To Take Back The Vermont Airwaves

This is an article that appeared in the Vermont Guardian, and it provides more information into the struggle of "pirate" radio stations in the state, including radio free brattleboro (rfb)...

Power of the people: Communities use low power FM to take back the Vermont airwaves

By Daphne Larkin
Special to the Vermont Guardian

posted on June 24, 2005

Radio pirates are walking the plank into the ocean of federal licensing now that the Federal Communications Commission has sanctioned community radio and opened the airwaves to locals broadcasting.

Transmitting at 100 watts with an average reach of about three and a half miles, low power FM (LPFM) is, by design, a perfect local media endeavor for small Vermont communities.

Community radio is supported solely by volunteers and donations, and provides an outlet for local issues, music, alternative news sources and most importantly, diverse programming.
“It’s like the difference between eating at a chain restaurant and at a local bistro,” said Deb Forrett of non-profit Vermont Earthworks, which is in the process of starting an LPFM station in Brattleboro.

In 2000 the FCC established a need for community radio and organized five-day windows in which non-profit organizations could apply for a broadcast license. Once the application was submitted, however, it took several years before folks heard if they were granted.

“Once you sent in the application we didn’t hear anything for four years and it was nearly impossible to really know what was going on with the status of your application,” Forrett said, “and never in all the times that I contacted the FCC to inquire did I ever actually talk to anyone or get any information.”

Click here to read the entire article


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