On Wednesday, the NAB (which opposes Zonecasting technology) circulated a letter from House Representatives Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Darren Soto (D-FL) that was sent to FCC Chairman, Jessica Rosenworcel, questioning the technology that GeoBroadcasting Solutions tried to pass. to the Commission.
The letter states that the GeoBroadcasting solution “is cleverly marketed as a tool to serve black and brown communities, when in fact it can be used for quite the opposite – to avoid serving those communities. Any potential benefit must be weighed against this significant risk of harm. As members of the Competency Committee in this matter, we are also concerned about any technology that may degrade the free over-the-air radio service by introducing harmful interference.
The letter that the NAB has circulated raises the question of whether elected officials are really attentive to the issues they are asked to support… or oppose. Here’s what Clarke said about the issue in December 2020. “I’m proud that the FCC is considering changes to FM amplifier rules that could potentially help minority-owned stations better serve their communities. I applaud Commissioner Starks’ leadership on this issue. As we fight the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that hyper-localized content, like news and emergency alerts, is delivered to the communities that need that personalized content the most. We must ensure that innovative technologies, such as location targeting, are used in ways that uplift marginalized communities and spur the growth of small businesses. »
GeoBroadcast is seeking to change an FCC rule that would allow stations to broadcast geo-targeted content, including news, traffic and advertising, for five minutes or less per hour.