Brattleboro radio station may challenge FCC in court

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(Host) A lawyer says Radio Free Brattleboro could break new legal ground in challenging the Federal Communications Commission. The all-volunteer station, whose signal can be heard only in Brattleboro, recently went back on the air on an unused frequency. It had been shut down in June by the FCC for broadcasting without a license.

But Larry Hildes a lawyer from the Center for Democratic Communication in Berkeley, California says the FCC isn’t granting licenses for small community stations. In a meeting last night, he accused the agency of frightening citizens while letting media giants have free reign.

(Hildes) “I got a call saying, what can we do about this? Our community thinks we have a right to broadcast. Nobody ever suggested this before, believe it or not Nobody ever suggested responding. But we do have a right to broadcast – the community is our license. And we may get a chance to test this in court. We’ll see what the FCC does.”

(Host) More than 100 citizens turned out to discuss the station’s future. Hildes told them he responded to the FCC’s demand for proof of the station’s authority to broadcast by citing 2,700 local signatures endorsing the station. Radio Free Brattleboro also hopes for a resolution from the select board authorizing the station to broadcast within the town.

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