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The PIRATE Act, recent­ly passed by Con­gress, is intend­ed to stem the tide of unli­censed radio broad­cast­ing by pro­vid­ing the Fed­er­al Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion with new tools. Chief amongst them are new max­i­mum fines, and a short­cut to issu­ing them. But will this real­ly work?

Author and radio schol­ar John Ander­son says that a lot of the Act’s pro­vi­sions amount to unfund­ed man­dates,” requir­ing the FCC to make semi-annu­al sweeps in pirate radio hotspots, but with­out any addi­tion­al bud­get. John joins the show to details all of the PIRATE Act’s pro­vi­sions, and assess what effect they may have.

We also ana­lyze the role of unli­censed radio sta­tions in their com­mu­ni­ties –recent­ly rec­og­nized by even the Boston Globe – and what effect, if any, the Act might have on Part 15, legal unli­censed broadcasters.