FM Chips Get Attention in Congress

While the controversial “Open Internet” rulemaking was the focus of pointed questioning to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in Congressional committee hearings this week, the conversation did turn to other subjects, including FM chips in mobile phones.  Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) used her time during Thursday’s House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing to raise FM chips with FCC Chairman Wheeler.  She was particularly interested in their use in case of emergencies when citizens need to access important information often supplied on a mass scale by broadcasters. 

The top Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Transportation Committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), highlighted the same topic in a letter to Chairman Wheeler earlier this month.  They stated, “For the benefit of the American public, ensuring all mobile devices are broadcast-radio capable is a critical component of this country’s safety and homeland security. To that end, we are asking you to do everything in your power to make certain that every American consumer has access to the FM radio chip in their smartphones today.” 

Notably, the NRB Board of Directors approved a Resolution in February 2012 calling for such expanded availability of broadcast radio services in mobile phones.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: March 20, 2015

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