During the spring and summer of 1999, the Low Power Radio Service Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) recently drew a record number of responses. Several thousand people from all over the country participated in what has traditionally been the purview of major corporations and institutions, including 1120 individuals who signed the Micro Radio Empowerment Coalition comments. This paper examines that response and its implications for the micro radio and other activist movements. The Internet played an important role not only in filing responses, but in drafting and signing responses as well. For example, the Joint Statement on Micro Radio garnered 30 organizations and 101 individuals from 17 states in less than three weeks--entirely on-line. Instantaneous communication, resource sharing, and organizational potential of the Internet are the foundation of a grassroots Micro Radio Movement that has gone from obscurity to the national arena in less than five years. The ability to act, react, and organize effectively and in a timely manner has allowed a broad-based, diverse, but scattered, under-funded, and often divisive coalition to challenge some of America's most powerful media organizations.
Ted M. Coopman. "Hardware handshake: Listserv forms backbone of national free radio network" American Communication Journal (2000).