Saturday, 19 June 2010

Re: [creative-radio] Question concerning unlicensed radio



Check out Prometheus is one of the world's leading sources of information on the serenditipities inherent with the use of low power radio broadcasting, especially in FM.

In a nutshell, the problems you mention are almost exclusively related to high power broadcasting, a phenomenon or practice that may have some economic justification in a narrow sense (it favours economies of scale as far as employment is concerned). The US FCC has accepted that while perhaps theoretically possible, low power broadcasting does not interfere with signals from high power Txs. Unfortunately, this view has not spread out across the world yet, so hasn't been used to modify rules on FM licensing.

Probably reasons for this vary, from money 'skimmed' off 'difficulties' in obtaining licenses, to lack of interest and technical expertise amongst regulators and wireless planners (the range of frequencies reserved for FM is very narrow, hence not as interesting, compared to other wireless bands, such as cellular mobile, TV and so on). For the same reason (an exclusive and very limited reserved band) the possibility of interference with emergency services and aircraft are risible, unless the pirate has a multimegawatt transmitter (but then, where would they hide it? - we are, after all, talking about public broadcasting).

While your question appears to specifically focus on 'pirate' broadcasting, LPFM has been shown to have many more applications, including delivery of audio for concerts and meetings (and for sports grounds), and (with multiple Txs) for simultaneous translation at low-cost multilingual conferences. In some countries, processes for getting short-term low-power transmitting licenses are simple and straightforward, but costs vary widely. If you would like to know more about non-broadcast LPFM, please feel free to write to me offlist.

>From: Peter O'Doherty <>
>Sent: Fri, 18 June, 2010 12:52:32
>Subject: [creative-radio] Question concerning unlicensed radio
> >
>Dear list,
>>(I hope it's okay to ask a question on this list, please excuse if not.)
>>I am looking for sources of online information concerning the use of
>>unlicensed fm transmitters (sometimes called "pirates"). The official
>>line is that such transmitters are illegal as they interfere with
>>commercial, state and emergency channels and also with aircraft
>>communication channels. The first two I understand but am sceptical
>>about the inteference with emergency services and aircraft.
>>I would be interested in reading information to support these claims.
>>And also hearing about experiences in different countries. If you have
>>any interesting links, please do share!
>>Best wishes,
>>-> Peter O'Doherty
> >

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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