Prometheus and Friends Petition FCC to Freeze Edgewater/RAM Translator Apps

John and DIYmedia tipped me off to the petition, filed this past Wednesday, March 9, asking the FCC to freeze the processing of applications for new translators stations, based upon allegations of trafficking, as covered here at mediageek and at DIYmedia. The coalition behind the petition includes the Prometheus Radio Project, REC Networks (which did the primary research that smoked out the trafficking scheme) and the United Church of Christ.

In the petition, they write:

Prometheus Radio et al have discovered evidence of a massive trafficking scheme in violation of the Communications Act and longstanding Commission policy. Three individuals, Clarke Parrish, Earl Williamson, and Diana Atkin, used two dummy corporations – Radio Assist Ministry, Inc. and Edgewater Broadcasting, Inc. – to apply for thousands of translator licenses in the March 2003 Translator WindowÂ… The Applicants have used a third dummy company, World Radio Link, Inc., to aggressively market the naked construction permits. …

As the Commission has long recognized, allowing the sale of naked construction permits in the broadcast services is contrary to the public interest and corrupts the integrity of the CommissionÂ’s processes. The harm to the public is particularly onerous here, because these translator licenses come at the expense of future low power FM stations.

The LA Times is the only mainstream news outlet to cover the petition, and, unsurprisingly, they fail to get comment from REC, Edgewater or World Radio Link. An FCC spokesperson tells the Times that the commission is aware of the situation and is “working tirelessly to ensure a fair balance between the needs of the broadcasters and the communities they serve.”