New Radio Services and the Public Interest
From Forbes.com: AirAmerica, the newly launched radio network aimed at liberal listeners who prefer Al Franken's smirk to Rush Limbaugh's snarl, had a rough start this spring. In its first month of operation, the network saw top executives leave, had trouble meeting payroll and struggled to make its signal heard from a mere six radio stations. But in cyberspace, AirAmerica has been a hit. In its heavily hyped first week of broadcast, the network sent 2 million streams out to listeners who dialed in via computer--either because they were away from a nearby radio or, in most cases, because no local radio station carried the programming.
So will internet radio be subject to the same "public interest" standard that television and regular radio is? If this takes off, which in other articles Forbes is predicting (particularly wifi radio and downloading and saving capabilities will make it more popular), how will the government make sure that the content meets public interest standards of regular radio, such as indecency? With the spectrum argument of regular radio not available, is the government powerless to regulate content?