|For immediate release
October 2, 2000
|Siriol Evans, NPR
||David Noble, IAAIS
Joint Statement from NPR and
International Association of Audio Information Services
The FCC's Low Power FM Reconsideration Order
National Public Radio® (NPR®) President and CEO Kevin Klose, and International Association of Audio Information Services (IAAIS) President Ben Martin issued the following statement today -
The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Low Power FM (LPFM) Reconsideration Order makes one important improvement - a better process for resolving complaints of interference caused by LPFM stations once interference has occurred.
We have consistently maintained that radio reading services for the blind, represented by IAAIS, and NPR members' translator stations must be sufficiently protected from LPFM interference so that the FCC's goal of creating new, LPFM stations can be compatible with existing public radio stations and radio reading services for the blind. We had hoped to reach common ground through the administrative process.
However, the FCC's new Order does not guarantee that radio reading services will remain protected from interference, nor does it adequately safeguard translator stations. The blind and print-impaired who depend on radio reading services, and Americans who rely on translator stations, must not be relegated to second-class listener status. Just as LPFM advocates want to serve small audiences with micro radio stations, so does public radio now provide daily service with micro radio technology to small, devoted audiences. Those Americans have no less right to public service radio.
After reviewing the FCC's Order, NPR and IAAIS continue to support The Radio Broadcasting Preservation Act of 2000
(S. 3020). This bipartisan legislation takes a balanced approach by providing for immediate LPFM licensing while safeguarding existing stations and radio reading services from interference. We urge prompt Senate action on this bill.
More than a third of NPR's members provide radio reading services on their subcarrier channels. These services provide more than a million listeners who are blind and print-impaired indispensable, up-to-date items from local newspapers and other sources, such as bus schedules, grocery store sale items and election district addresses.
Translator stations extend public radio signals to approximately 9 million Americans, many in rural, remote communities. For example, KNAU-FM in Flagstaff, AZ reaches the Hualapai Tribe and other Native Americans through a translator station in Kingman, AZ, and WCQS-FM in Asheville, NC uses translator stations to extend its programming deep into Appalachia.
NPR's Member Stations
NPR's 271 member stations nationwide are licensed to school boards, colleges and universities, and local community organizations.
More than half of NPR's members are licensed to private and state universities, including Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA (WDUQ-FM) and Pacific Lutheran University, Inc. in Tacoma, WA (KPLU-FM).
Included among the members licensed to local organizations are Rainbird Community Broadcasting Corporation in Ketchikan, AK (KRBD-FM), Prairie Public Broadcasting, Inc. in Fargo, ND (KCND-FM) and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, MI (WBLV-FM).
Members licensed to school boards include the Board of Education of the City of Atlanta, GA (WABE-FM) and the School Board of Dade County, Florida (WLRN-FM).
Members licensed to state entities include the West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority (WVPN-FM).
Translator stations extend public radio signals to approximately 9 million Americans, many in rural, remote communities. They extend their signals over mountains, rivers and prairies through chains of connected translator stations. NPR member stations using translators include:
· North Country Public Radio's WSLU in Canton, NY uses 13 translators to reach listeners in the Adirondacks and St. Lawrence Valley region of northern New York and western Vermont.
· KUER-FM in Salt Lake City, UT, serves 10,000 listeners in rural areas throughout the state using a network of 33 translators.
· WVIK-FM in Rock Island, IL, uses a translator that serves approximately 10,000 people.
· KEMC-FM in Billings, MT, transmits public radio to remote communities via 30 translators.
· KUSD-FM in Vermillion, SD, reaches more than 80,000 listeners through 10 translators.
More than a third of NPR's members provide radio reading services on their subcarrier channels. These services provide more than a million blind and print-impaired listeners indispensable, up-to-date items from local newspapers and other sources, such as bus schedules, grocery store sale items and election district addresses.
NPR is committed to public service through the production and distribution of award-winning news and cultural programming.