Free Boulder Radio Evades a Bust Again with Wireless Internet

  • Free Boulder Radio Evades a Bust Again with Wireless Internet
    John Anderson from the Radio page at tells how this unlicensed micropower station ingeniously avoided detection by a snooping FCC agent by using a 2.4 GHz wireless ethernet setup as a studio-to-transmitter-link (STL), allowing the studio to be located remotely from the transmitter and not easily detectiable.

    One of the risks involved with typical STL equipment is that it’s typically line-of-sight. With these, if you can find the receiver that’s hooked up to the FM transmitter, then you can make a very good guess at finding the studio just by finding its line of sight. But with a wireless ethernet setup, the wireless transmitter just needs to be within 1/4 mile or so of the FM transmitter, which can cover a lot of buildings in an urban environment. And because ethernet is a packet based technology, it’s harder to prove that a particular wireless ethernet signal is specifically intended to feed the FM station, since it could also be providing web surfing for all the people in the neighborhood. Best of all, wireless ethernet doesn’t require a license.

    Quite a few communities have free wireless Internet projects going on or in the works, such as the Champaign-Urbana Grassroots Wireless Internet Project. As the technology gets cheaper and more ubiquitous, it will be easier for micropower broadcasters to use it as a very difficult to trace STL — especially if there are multiple networks covering a small area, such as you’d find in big tech cities like San Francisco. If there’s wireless ethernet in the neighborhood, all you have to do is secure a place to put the transmitter, and your studio could be down the block, across town or even in another city.

    Related stuff on mediageek:

  • Wireless Broadband Internet Gaining Steam? 12/20/01

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