Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR), chairman of a key panel with oversight over the FCC and telecommunications law, recently gave an important nod to accessibility of FM chips in mobile phones. In a profile of the former radio station owner and operator, Radio Ink asked Chairman Walden a wide range of questions from the performance tax to net neutrality. Notably, on the subject of the FM Chip, Rep. Walden noted, “I understand it is to [the wireless carriers’] benefit if they can sell you data to get information, as opposed to allowing you to get it through the chip. But with the spectrum being as valuable and limited as it is, we should be looking for efficient uses of spectrum.” As one who prefers the market to work such things out, he did not push for a mandate. However, he did declare, “This sort of shell game needs to stop. They need to turn it on. It’s available. It’s technologically possible. It’s used in other countries. There’s no harm or foul…. Every phone should have the FM chip available. That’s my view.” 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: May 8, 2015