Paul McLane is editor in chief.
If you aren’t sure how valuable radio can be to a local
community, consider what the town of Acton, Mass., northwest of Boston, wrote
to the Federal Communications Commission:
“The town is
seeking an LPFM license in order to fill a need for effective public safety
communication with residents, especially during emergencies,” it told the FCC.
It stated that over several years, Acton has suffered from severe ice storms
and other disasters “which rendered cellular towers inoperable and left
residents without any utility access in some cases for more than 2
It said the community needs a way to communicate
“that is not dependent on public utilities which can be damaged during an
This language is sure to resonate with others
in broadcasting who have long emphasized radio’s reliability even when —
especially when — other forms of communication infrastructure fail. Here’s yet
more evidence, in case anyone needed it.
When not used for public safety, the Acton radio station — with two full-time
employees — would be used for “municipal outreach” and civic events, an
Independence day concert, fireworks, government updates and other
It’s fascinating to
dig through the many applications received by the FCC for new low-power FM
radio stations such as this one. I had to smile at this line toward the end of Acton’s
respect to Section IV, Question 1, the Town of Acton was incorporated as a town
on July 3, 1735. The FCC’S CDBS form will not permit the entry of a date
earlier than January 1, 1950. However, for purposes of the involuntary
time-share information in Section IV, the applicant qualified as ‘local’ under
section 73.853(B) as of July 3, 1735.”
other words, we were local before there was a United States, much less an
Love that institutional memory.
By the way, the town of Acton got its construction permit, at 94.9