FCC Commissioners Like FM Chip Idea
In a session entitled "Straight Talk From the Top. FCC Commissioners -- America's Communication Regulators," at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, Commissioners Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel both made pro-radio statements about FM chips in cell phones. Earlier in the day, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam told NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith that radio on cell phones is a very small issue for his customers. He said they were more interested in streaming customizable audio. The commissioners had a different take.
Commissioner Rosenworcel indicated, that over time, that will change, and as consumers use FM chips in their phone more and more, they'll demand it more and more. Pai, who's been a radio hero at this year's NAB show, believes that from a consumer perspective it would be helpful to have FM chips in phones, "especially during emergencies." Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan has worked out a deal with Sprint to get FM chips in cell phones later this year. Smulyan told Radio Ink he's very excited the commissioners support the idea. "We'd like FM chips in every cell phone in the United States." It's important to note that there was no mention of a government mandate to put FM chips in cell phones.