April 12, 2000
The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 3439, as reported
by the Commerce Committee, which would restrict the ability of the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) to license community-oriented,
non-commercial, low-power FM radio service.
The Administration supports efforts to create a new class of microradio licenses that allow nonprofit groups like schools and churches to reach their local communities over the airwaves. These new stations, at just a fraction of the power of commercial broadcasters, could provide a voice for the voiceless, thereby contributing to improved community ties and information. At a time of increased concern about diversity in broadcasting and broadcast ownership, it is important to make sure that access to the airwaves is facilitated.
The Administration is extremely mindful of the concerns expressed about potential interference to existing FM radio stations. The Administration is confident, however, that any interference issues will be promptly and fairly resolved by the FCC, which has decades-long experience in dealing with FM radio issues.