No resolution for Radio Free Brattleboro

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(Host) Radio free Brattleboro supporters went away without the resolution they were hoping for from the Brattleboro Selectboard last night.

The all-volunteer station, which can only be heard within the town, was shut down by the FCC last June for operating without a license.

It’s since resumed broadcasting, despite repeated FCC warnings.

RFB supporters claim the FCC isn’t interested in granting licenses to low power community stations.

They say their authority to broadcast comes from the community, in the form of petitions signed by about 3,000 citizens.

RFB hoped the board would officially recognize those petitions and the citizens’ authority.

Jim Maxwell is a lawyer working with the station’s volunteers. He said a resolution from the town could help set a legal precedent.

(Maxwell) Precedent doesn’t get set until a case does go to court and the judge does say… The FCC, having ignored 10 watt stations for five years, has essentially given away its right to regulate that type of operation.

(Host) But the board approved a resolution of its own instead. It urged the FCC to work with Radio Free Brattleboro and other applicants to license a local low-power station.

Selectman Stephen Steidle drafted the resolution.

(Steidle) I support the concept of community radio. I support RFB in its efforts to become a license, low power FM broadcaster. But I don’t support the process that they’re taking, and that’s my feeling.

(Host) RFB supporters say they plan to continue broadcasting without a license unless or until something changes.

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