Close to 2,000 organizations, churches, schools, civic organizations, among other civil sectors, have applied for low power FM radio stations in the last seven months.
This number, reports Andrea Cano Vargas of the Microradio Implementation Project, represents only three-fifths of the U.S. states and territories who may file with the Federal Communications Commission, and is more than what was anticipated a year ago.
On Jan. 20, 2000, the FCC approved a new non-commercial radio service to be operated by local not for profit groups to inform and educate their communities.
"We celebrate the creative response and commitment of these groups, and of the many others who will apply this spring and summer for using such a low tech, high touch method of reaching out to their communities," says Vargas. "We also honor the bipartisan support led by Sen John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Bob Kerry (D-Neb.) to keep low-power FM alive and well."
The purpose of low-power stations is to provide access to the radio waves for community and other grassroots organizations. National Public Radio (NPR) and the National Association of Broadcasters are waging a a campaign to elminate low-power FM radio.
The Microradio Implementation Project is operated under the auspices of the UCC's Proclamation, Identity, Communication Ministry and is funded in part by the John D. and Catherine T MacArthur and Ford Foundations and the Open Society Institute.
For more information on low-power radio, contact the Microradio Implementation Project at 633 SW Montgomery St., Portland, Ore 97201; 877-468-8884; e-mail . The following websites also have information: www.microradio.org, www.mediaaccess.org and www.christiancommunityfm.com.