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July 13, 2003

LOW POWER FM POSES NO SIGNIFICANT INTERFERENCE THREAT, according to a MITRE study reported by Jesse Walker over at Hit and Run.

Big broadcasters -- and, most notably, NPR -- have tried to shut out low power FM for years. This will make it harder, though I'm sure they won't give up. But if Michael Powell takes the diversity-of-new-media argument seriously, he'll get behind a drastic expansion of low-power FM now that the interference threat bogeyman has been exploded. As Walker notes:

If the study is taken seriously, it should open the door to a lot of new low-power radio stations, not just in the countryside but in the cities. The political moment for such a change may be ripe, given how many people in Congress are professing their discontent with media consolidation -- a stance that, if sincere, should lead those politicians to support new sources of competition on the dial. Their response to this report will be a test of that sincerity.

I'm not holding my breath, though I'd love to have him prove me wrong on this.