Unlock the FM Chips on smart phones!

Hello Members

I have some very exciting news.  The NCRA is about to lead a nation-wide campaign to pressure major telecoms (Rogers, Bell, Telus etc) and manufacturers to turn on what is called an "fm chip", which is installed on most smartphones already but not active (some phones have this enabled already).  These organizations want to keep these chips disabled because they make money off of data use, whereas the FM chips don’t require data.  The sector is interested in turning them on because it opens up more listening opportunities for people to hear FM radio (among other benefits, such as saves battery life when listening to music on the go, allows for emergency broadcasting alerts to be reached etc).

We have teamed up with a software developer in the United States called NextRadio, who helped launch the US website http://freeradioonmyphone.org/.  The NCRA will be launching a Canadian equivalent, recruiting partner organizations to get listeners and the general public to write, call, and petition these telecoms (and the CRTC) to turn on the FM Chip.  We have already signed an agreement with the CBC network, to which they will be supporting our campaign.  Additionally, we will be connecting with various commercial and broadcast associations along the way who will support the project -- an amazing outreach opportunity as well to make new connections.

What does this mean for NCRA Stations and supporting the campaign?

We hope that our stations will aggressively support this process.  Within the next two to three weeks, we expect to have the website live with a full marketing campaign including PSAs, web banners and social media posts promoting turning the FM Chip on.   At this time, we encourage our member stations to get behind the campaign and share/promote the marketing material, talk about the importance of this and champion the project.   There will be much more information coming shortly on when we launch so do not worry.

Additionally, there may be some unique marketing and outreach opportunities for our member stations who wish to engage with NextRadio and their add-on app "TagStation" around advertising and listener numbers.  We are negotiating with the companies right now for a solution that will fit our member needs.

If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact me or reply if it is something that you believe the rest of the network would like to hear an answer on, and I will do my best to reply.

This is a very exciting opportunity for our sector to gain additional exposure, connections, funding opportunities and listeners as we take a lead in something the commercial and public sector wishes they could do.

The website is live at freeradioonmyphone.ca


Barry Rooke