The city of Boston has submitted applications to the FCC for two low-power FM radio stations, one broadcasting municipal information from high atop that round senior-citizens building in Egleston Square, the other a more educational station at East Boston High School.
The FCC's Low Power FM program is aimed at encouraging non-commercial educational broadcasting. Stations that get licenses will be limited to 100 watts - a far cry from the typical commercial station, where power is typically measured in the tens of thousands of watts.
In its application for the municipal station, the city's Office of Cable and E-Gov says it wants to build on the cable shows it already produces - "Call the Cops," for example - and offer "a predictable and dependable daily schedule of news and public announcements - including public safety and public health
- that listeners can rely upon."
The station, proposed for 102.9 FM, would also broadcast official information during emergencies and severe weather.
The City of Boston Office of Cable and E-Gov will utilize a combination of web team and cable team staff, community access staff, collegiate interns, and high school students from our school system to compile, write & read these emergency and public information notices. We will also develop a remotely accessible system similar to our Cable Emergency Alert System (EAS) to facilitate key city officials accessing the system to convey emergency information for rebroadcast.
At East Boston High, the East Boston High School Communication and Media Arts Pathway would give students, staff and parents a way to delve into radio:
It is likely that the programming schedule would be filled with school--related content in the early morning (7--8:30), which would include announcements, commercials for school-- related events, and general information. The late morning (8:30--10:30) would feature shows about local and school--related events, such as discussion about the varsity sports teams or possible themes for the homecoming dance. Lunchtime (10:30--12:30) would give way to independent music, which would be fed into both cafeterias. After lunch (12:30-- 1:50) program scheduling would depend on school--based needs. For example, our local college--readiness partners could use a weekly block to answer questions about the college application or financial aid process. Alumni Fridays might be a way in which graduates could be brought back to share their experiences of college and beyond. After school would be a fantastic time for a Radio club in which students could create their own unique programming based on individual interests, ranging from fashion advice to the treachery of Lady Macbeth. The sky is truly the limit.