FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Rejects Mark Green’s Request to Assist Churches Through FM Transmitter Regulations

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Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has rejected U.S. Rep. Mark Green’s (R-TN-07) request to grant churches and other houses of worship a temporary waiver to use long-range FM transmitters without fear of harsh government fines.

Pai (pictured above) denied Green’s request this month.

Green, in a letter he sent to the FCC in June, specifically cited the COVID-19 pandemic as prompting him to request this.

“During the coronavirus pandemic, America’s communities of faith have sought innovative ways to gather without putting their members at risk. Some houses of worship have even held ‘drive-in’ services using FM transmitters. For houses of worship to do this, they must be able to operate without the fear of heavy penalties threatening their services,” Green wrote.

“I am writing to ask you to consider granting a temporary waiver for houses of worship to operate FM transmitters with an effective service range greater than 200 feet. Such a waiver would enable our faith communities to continue congregating while abiding by the CDC’s recommended social distancing measures. The coronavirus pandemic has forced houses of worship to find alternative ways to exercise these freedoms. The least the Federal government can do is to get out of their way, so they can serve their communities without fear of violating a government rule.”

Pai, three months later, responded with a letter of his own and denied Green’s request.

Pai cited FCC rules and what he described as a need to protect licensed stations.

A waiver of these requirements would undermine the Commission’s goal of ensuring the integrity of the already-crowded FM radio spectrum and would deny existing licensees the opportunities to defend their costly investments,” Pai wrote.

As an alternative, Pai said churches can ask their local broadcast stations to air their weekly services.  He also said churches could take advantage of either “call-to-listen” services — where congregants only need a phone — or streaming services.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to chrisbutlerjournalist@gmail.com.

 

 

 

The article FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Rejects Mark Green’s Request to Assist Churches Through FM Transmitter Regulations appeared first on Tennessee Star.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has rejected U.S. Rep. Mark Green’s (R-TN-07) request to grant churches and other houses of worship a temporary waiver to use long-range FM transmitters without fear of harsh government fines.
Pai denied Green’s request this month.
Green, in a letter he sent to the FCC in June, specifically cited the COVID-19 pandemic as prompting him to request this.
The article FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Rejects Mark Green’s Request to Assist Churches Through FM Transmitter Regulations appeared first on Tennessee Star.