Community Radio…

Spent yesterday evening, and today morning reading the TRAI Consultation paper on Community Radio. IMHO, Community Radio is a communication medium with a lot of potential to make a real difference in certain areas. Unfortunately, no one seems to have the vision to leverage it the right way. Not that I do 🙂

The paper says that right now there is only one community radio in operation in India, and that’s in Anna University. Does anyone know what they use it for?

I have a few basic questions.

1) The paper says that for community radio stations, the maximum transmitter power should be 50 Watts, and the antenna height not more than 30 m. What is the maximum coverage under such constraints?

2) The capital cost for operationalizing the Anna University Community Radio was around Rs. 12 lakhs, and about the same amount is needed per annum for 3 hours of daily transmission. I guess that’s not too expensive, but for a community radio station that’s a bit much anyway. What’s the major components of this cost, and is there a way to reduce it? Through alternative technology (say, wi-fi) for instance?

3) I don’t see the logic behind some of the weird restrictions on community radio stations – no advertising, only educational institutions allowed, spectrum usage fee etc etc.

I think I would like to learn a bit more though. Is there a place in B’lore where I can take a short basic course? Hands-on, preferrably.

While I am not really too clued into telecommunications, I think a subversive napster type operation is needed before many of the newer wireless technologies get bottled by legal issues.

Now, I need to check out if that proposal needs to be done. I hope not. But you know what, while making proposals is one of the most boring things you can do, when you actually “win” that bid, it’s still a pleasant feeling. I suppose that’s what keeps sales guys going.


Posted on October 27, 2004, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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