The FCC, an open Internet & the future of MAIN

Dear Friends – Since we posted our year-end fundraising appeal, “MAIN and Liberating the Public Airwaves,” the United States Senate passed the Local Community Radio Act!

With President Obama’s signature, the FCC will be empowered to write new rules for low-power FM radio stations like MAIN-FM 103.5.

These new rules will, for the first time, allow our community radio station to broadcast at the full 100 watts for which we are licensed, instead of the 2 watts to which we have been limited since 2003.

This fall, we also took a major step forward in solving the rural broadband crisis when the FCC finalized rules for unlicensed use of vacant TV channels – the “white spaces” – for more powerful and efficient wireless Internet access. This new technology – known as “Wi-Fi on steroids” – should come to market in 2011.

However, MAIN must survive to take advantage of these newly liberated portions of our public airwaves!

MAIN’s survival is critical because last week the FCC approved “open Internet” rules that, paradoxically, give a green light to cable and phone companies to complete their “enclosure” of the Internet. The reason is simple: the FCC lacks the authority to enforce open Internet rules!

With the FCC powerless to stop the big cable and telephone companies from abusing their power over the Internet, mainstream media are taking note. Recently, National Public Radio revealed how commercial ISPs violate subscribers’ privacy via “deep packet inspection” technologies:

MAIN is committed to an open Internet and to protecting your privacy and civil liberties. Over the last century, our nation created “wilderness preserves” as America’s open spaces were increasingly enclosed by corporate interests.

With your help, MAIN will survive to become one of the nation’s foremost “open Internet preserves,” where citizens’ civil liberties and freedom to innovate are fully protected.

Here’s how you can help:

1. Make a tax-deductible donation to MAIN. Help keep this unique organization alive for the next 15 years by making a secure online donation. Or mail your donation to: MAIN, 34 Wall Street, Suite 407, Asheville, N.C. 28801.

2. Become a MAIN underwriter. Share your business or nonprofit message with a “buy local” audience at rates far more cost-effective than those of other radio and online media.

3. Donate your old car or truck to MAIN. Take advantage of the convenience of getting rid of an old car or truck by turning it into a tax-deductible gift to MAIN or MAIN-FM.

4. Host your website (business, nonprofit or personal) with MAIN. Why send your webhosting dollars to an absentee-corporation like GoDaddy, when you can keep your dollars local to support a nonprofit that works on behalf of you and your community?

In this economic climate, many worthy nonprofits are fighting for their lives. A donation to MAIN is an investment in an open Internet to help ALL of our local nonprofits and small businesses survive.

Wally Bowen                                                            Roger Derrough
Executive Dirtector                                                 MAIN Board Chair

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One Response to “The FCC, an open Internet & the future of MAIN”

  1. Frank W. Heatherington says:

    I would sure like to know when WPVM goes to 100 watts. I have an antenna up on the hill behind the house I put up when the station went on the air, but at 5 watts, I could get no signal here in Madison County. With 20 times as much power from the transmitter, I think I have a real chance of pulling the signal in. (It’s a five-element Yagi antenna.)

    Would someone at MAIN let me know when this happens?