Our Issues

Many people know Prometheus for our work building radio stations or fighting in Congress to expand low power radio. In this section, we share a lesser-known side of our struggle to free the airwaves: the world of regulatory policy. In other words, the rules.

Rules about the airwaves (aka the radio spectrum) are set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is supposed to manage the radio spectrum as a public resource (just as other agencies manage other public resources, such as water or forests). The public can participate by commenting about proposed rules, or even proposing rules of our own. At Prometheus, we advocate for rules that allow greater access to the airwaves for those historically marginalized from media ownership. We think media should be controlled by communities, not corporations. We believe that communication is a fundamental right. Since so much communication relies on the radio spectrum (from radio to broadband to satellites), we see access to the spectrum as a right worth fighting for.

You can learn about our key regulatory issues in the menu on the right, or read below for the latest updates on our regulatory work.

Our Policy Updates

After years of filings, counterfilings, and differences as intractable as the Hatfields and the McCoys, Prometheus and large translator network Educational Media Foundation (EMF) have come to an understanding about the future status of translators and low power FM (LPFM) stations. Translators are the mini-stations that repeat the signals of other stations, often in chains over long distances. EMF is the third largest applicant for non-commercial FCC translator licenses, with over 800 applications in the 2003 filing window.

Reposted from the Sunlight Foundation

Former government officials hired to lobby as Congress looks to rewrite telecom law


By Paul Blumenthal

Brandy Doyle
April 15, 2010

Do you think bigger media companies, further deregulation, and fewer independent local voices will solve the crisis in media? Despite all the evidence that consolidation hurts local media, the FCC still isn't sure.

As part of its 2010 review of the media ownership rules, the FCC is holding a public workshop in Tampa, Florida on April 20, 2010 to consider its longtime ban on cross-ownership. Ending the ban (as the FCC tried to do in 2003 and 2007) would allow a single company to own the newspaper and the television or radio station in the same market.

Media activists may remember past rounds of FCC media ownership hearings that brought thousands of people out nationwide to protest media consolidation. The 2010 events have been...different.

4/12/2010 The Radio Business Report/Television Business Report shared the transcript and audio from their annual financial roundtable. The quote below is from Raymond Shu of GE Capital, which has "about eight billion dollars of assets in the MCE [Media, Communications, and Entertainment] space and historically [is] one of the larger media lenders in the industry."

Reposted from Media Geek:

Study: Online Radio Listening Flattens Out

April 9, 2010

By Katy Bachman