FCC Issues STA to Pirate FM

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Goldfield, NV - Feb 2, 2007 - The Pahrump Valley Times reports that a pirate radio station in Goldfield and Tonopah, NV, has been granted special temporary authority to operate the station. In June 2006, the FCC shut the 100W pirate station down for operating without a license. The FCC responded to a filed complaint.

Rod Moses, the operator of Radio Goldfield Broadcast, was granted the STA on Jan. 29. The STA not only allows the pirate to operate, but authorizes a different frequency. The station previously operated on 100.3. It will now operate on 106.3 at 100W.

Moses began operating Radio Goldfield in March 2005. He programmed community news and played oldies from an MP3 player. A letter to Moses from James Bradshaw, the FCC deputy chief of the Audio Division Media Bureau, states, "In support of the request, RGB states that the station provides current road conditions, information on local law enforcement and public safety." The letter also cites Section 309(f) of the Communications Act of 1934, which authorizes the commission to grant the temporary allowance in cases of "extraordinary circumstances requiring temporary authorizations in the public interest."

The FCC action is not the result of Moses' efforts alone. Nevada Sen. Harry Reid contacted FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to endorse the Radio Goldfield operation and its public interest contributions. According to the Times article, letters protesting the shutdown were sent to all the members of the Nevada congress. All of them except Reid declined to take action after receiving a letter from the FCC stating that Moses was operating illegally. Moses also credits Esmeralda County Commissioner R.J. Gillum and a local Goldfield activist with helping his cause.

Unfortunately, the FCC action sets a precedent to encourage pirate operations as a way to force granting an LPFM license. It's not surprising that Moses was able to obtain public support for his unlicensed station; most pirates have some community support.

The Pahrump article includes the statement, "Chalk one up for the little guy in a battle against the federal bureaucracy." The result is that an individual has been rewarded for bad behavior.

Read the original article at this link.

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