I happen to believe Tom Osenkowsky is on the right track; but in Washington, D.C. (the District of Criminals), money and power reign supreme over practical commonsense regulation.
The 1934 act that created the FCC was a milestone in eliminating interference on the medium-wave band because of no engineering standards. There were also the goozy fingers of the lawyers busily writing a lot of rules and regulations with respect to general operations to foster the “public interest, convenience and necessity.”
Through the years up to Mark Fowler, the FCC rules stayed pretty much the same. However, changes came quick after 1981, some good, some bad.
The “bad” ones came after the commissioners dismissed engineering aides in favor of “economists.” The lawyers remained and Michael Powell promptly hired an army of them, which was the dumbest thing I can imagine.
So today, we have basically an “anything goes” mentality on technical issues but an intense legal machine collecting big money for all sorts of things that the commission shouldn’t be doing at all.
Shakespeare wrote “Kill the lawyers.” Today, these words should be broadcast every 15 minutes on every domestic standard broadcast station in our country. If I owned a station, I would do just that.
The terrestrial broadcasting industry can easily survive if government (and the lawyers) would get out of the way. Keep the allocation engineering standards, open up or expand bands to accommodate new stations, freeze the current number of stations that the media monopolists own and promote localisms in the application process.
I have always believed in “The more, the merrier.” With this, true competition can win out in the end.
John C. Aegerter
Elm Grove, Wis.