A lot of my friends are unhappy about the further restrictions on “explicit words” the FCC has added to radio and TV programming during the Bush years. I, personally, am ecstatic about those. I only wish they were harsher.
No, I did not suddenly go insane and conservative. But I want the regulations to be as tough as they can because maybe, just maybe, eventually people will wake up and understand the FCC is a horrible, corrupt organization that should be overhauled. Frequency allocation should be done completely differently.
Other than a narrow band for goverment originated (not censored) communication about emergencies (both radio and TV), there shouldn’t be any channels used for broadcast. Instead, those frequencies should be allocated to local Wi-Max-like operators who will supply over-the-air internet for all. Strict anti-monopoly regulations should be enacted so that local players can get in on the game — grab a frequency, and sell internet to people in a location over the airwaves. Becoming an internet supplier would be easy — a T1 line, a Wi-Max-like receiver, a Linux router in between, and for $1000/mo+FCC charges, you’re up and running. Strict net-neutrality should be enforced as part of the air-wave licensing agreement. This would lower costs of internet provision, allow true competition in this area, and move all television station to being internet streaming services.
Phase-outs would include having cards which connect to the internet and supply the TV with video signals, but more and more televisions come with those services built-in. Services would crop up which would give a list of “television” stations, and if rating is desired, I’m sure the MPAA would love to provide a list of rating-enhanced stations. Of course, the MPAA would have to compete in the open market with Google and Facebook (“Moshe has <liked> NBC. Click here to add it to your TV’s channels.”)
This would remove the FCC from the role of censor of special words.
[Some of you might be thinking “car radio”. I’m thinking “universal 3G service, and Podcasts.”]