The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) has sent a list of seventeen proposals to the FCC intended to “provide lenders and investors with assurance that the federal government stands behind the survival and sustainability of this industry that is so vital to public service, public safety, minority entrepreneurship and democracy.” The MMTC Radio Rescue Petition for Rulemaking is primarily intended to help examine and rollback laws and standards, some in place since the ’30s, that are not only outdated but also create barriers to entry into the field by newcomers.
The Radio Business Report comments on the content of the list:
The proposals include such things as eliminated outdated engineering rules, looking at TV Channels 5 and 6 for possible transition of the AM band, changing community of license contour rules, removing non-viable FM allotments, extending the time period for construction permits. Some of the ideas would particularly benefit minority, but many would simply reduce red tape and costs for all broadcasters.
Especially with things still up in the air as far as the issue of royalties is concerned, close scrutiny of out-of-date procedures is something that could go a long way towards easing the strain felt by broadcasters.
From illustrating the feasibility of a radio agreement with Cuba to the creation of a broadcast public engineer position to help small stations and non profits with routine engineering issues, there are a lot of interesting ideas contained in the document. There is a PDF download of the original document in the right hand column of the RBR website here, under the heading attachments for your perusing pleasure.
I agree with the statement from the RBR that was appended to the bottom of the story:
“Bravo! These are some ideas worth exploring. Let’s hope the new FCC is ready to look at really dealing with the problems facing radio.”
Engineering and technology have advanced by leaps and bounds, especially in recent years. Anyone remember those 10-pound, first generation mobile phones? Unfortunately, the legal standards attached to the tech have not been able to keep pace in many cases. Let’s hope that this paves the way for some much needed change!