In-Depth: The legislation, proposed by Reps. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Paul Tonko (D-NY), would also set forth protections from signals that are sent from illegal radio operators and can pose a significant threat to public safety – oftentimes disrupting Federal Aviation Administration operations, the Emergency Alert System and other tools relied upon by first responders
“Protecting our public airwaves is an essential part of protecting our communities,” said Tonko. “Whether a radio frequency is being used by first responders coordinating to save lives or parents who just want to keep obscenity and bigotry away from their children, our communities are better served when broadcasting is governed by the rule of law. I am grateful to my colleagues for their support of the PIRATE Act, important legislation that will ensure our airwaves and communities are kept safe.”
Speaking at the start of the markup, Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) commented that the PIRATE Act:
“Gives the FCC more tools to combat illegal pirate radio operations. These illegal broadcasts deprive Americans of their access to important emergency alerting information and their access to educational and other programming provided by legitimate license holders.”
This legislation passed the House Energy & Commerce Committee on a voice vote and has the support of 14 bipartisan cosponsors, including 8 Democrats and 6 Republicans. The bill is supported by the New York Broadcasters Association (NYSBA)and the National Broadcasters Association (NBA).
Summary by Lucas McConnell(Photo Credit: iStock / Bet_noire)