MMTC Asks FCC's Wheeler To 'Champion' Smartphone FM Chip Activation
July 23, 2015 at 4:05 AM (PT)
The MULTICULTURAL MEDIA, TELECOM AND INTERNET COUNCIL (MMTC) has weighed in at the FCC on the smartphone FM chip issue, asking Chairman TOM WHEELER in a letter to "champion activating the FM Chip in smartphones. We have made great strides but still have more work to do, and with your support and endorsement we could make radio a reality in all smartphones. You can help by encouraging all cellular carriers to turn on the FM Chips in their phones"
In the letter from President/CEO KIM KEENAN copied to the other four Commissioners, the organization said that it "is supportive of this effort because it enhances the ability of broadcasters to distribute lifesaving, emergency alert notifications before, during and after natural and man-made emergencies."
The letter cites Hurricane Katrina as "a national demonstration of what not to do in an emergency. When cellular service was interrupted, families were disconnected from other family members. Residents lost touch with neighbors and essentially found themselves without critical information to direct them to shelter, food and government services. The FM chip would have added a layer of security for consumers, first responders and other stakeholders interested in the timely distribution of emergency response data. During Hurricane Katrina, terrestrial radio was the only viable method of mass communications, and the activation of FM chips would have potentially extended this service to wireless consumers who are more likely to be 'smartphone dependent,' minority, multilingual and, in some cases, geographically isolated."