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  1. #1
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    FCC to Apple: Let 'em have FM

    FCC chair wants Apple to activate FM radio chips in iPhones
    Reuters Sep 28

    Updated

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. communications regulator urged Apple Inc to activate FM radio chips installed in iPhones that would allow Americans to get access to life-saving information when a natural disaster causes wireless networks to go down.

    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said on Thursday that Apple was the one major phone manufacturer that has not activated the chips.

    “It is time for Apple to step up to the plate and put the safety of the American people first,” Pai said in a statement. “I hope the company will reconsider its position, given the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.”

    An Apple spokesman did not immediately comment on Thursday.

    U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, also said Apple should activate the chips.

    “The bottom line is consumers need critical information in times of emergency,” Nelson said in a statement. “If technologies, such as radio chips, exist that will help do that during times of emergencies, then companies should be doing everything in their power to employ their use.”

    National Association of Broadcasters Chief Executive Officer Gordon Smith praised bipartisan backing for activating the chips. “We urge Apple to acknowledge the public safety benefits of local broadcasting on SmartPhones and to light up the FM chip,” Smith said in a statement.

    FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, also backed the effort asking Apple to activate the chips.

    The FCC said on Wednesday that more than 90 percent of cell sites in Puerto Rico and two-thirds of those in the U.S. Virgin Islands were out of service after hurricanes damaged them.
    Last edited by pjw918; 09-29-2017 at 08:07 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjw918 View Post
    ...WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai on Thursday urged Apple Inc to activate FM radio chips installed in iPhones in the wake of major hurricanes.

    Pai said Apple is the one major phone manufacturer that has resisted doing so. Pai said when wireless networks go down during a natural disaster, smartphones with activated FM chips can allow Americans to get access to life-saving information. “It is time for Apple to step up to the plate and put the safety of the American people first.” An Apple spokesman did not immediately comment Thursday.
    Wow! I am shocked beyond belief. The Pai showing concern for the public he is supposed to serve? What's the catch?

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    What is the benefit to Apple to not activate the chips if they are in the phone anyway? The only thing I can think of is battery usage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRothaus View Post
    What is the benefit to Apple to not activate the chips if they are in the phone anyway? The only thing I can think of is battery usage.
    I have heard that it is a deal they made with the carriers. The carriers would prefer that we pay for and use mobile data to stream radio-like content. Apple would prefer that we get our radio-like content from iTunes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    Wow! I am shocked beyond belief. The Pai showing concern for the public he is supposed to serve?
    What's the catch?
    Why now? No particular reason..

    It’s time for Congress to fire the FCC chairman
    The Verge, Sep 27
    ...
    The Senate vote on Pai is imminent. When it happens, it will be a stark referendum on the kind of communications networks and consumer protections we want to see in this country. Senators can choose a toothless FCC that will protect huge companies, allow them to further consolidate, charge higher prices with worsening service, and a create bigger disconnect between broadband haves and have-nots. Or, they can vote for what the FCC is supposed to do: protect consumers, promote competition, and ensure access for all Americans, including the most vulnerable. It shouldn’t be a hard decision, and what we’ve seen over the past eight months makes the stakes clear.
    ...

  6. #6
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    FCC to Apple: Let 'em have FM

    FM reception requires a wired headset as an FM antenna. I am not sure it would work through the lightning connector used for wired headsets on newer iPhones. Since the FM signal is propagated by line-of-sight, the range is very short. AM stations would be more suitable for emergency transmissions since the ranges of clear channel stations may be thousands of miles. When I lived in Richmond, Virginia as a child, I could pick AM stations in Cincinnati, OH, Nashville, TN, Buffalo, NY and Atlanta, GA at night. Many FM stations in cities lose their signals within twenty miles at night.
    Last edited by efparri; 09-29-2017 at 03:39 PM.
    Earl F. Parrish

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    Apple has reported that iPhones since model 5S do not have an FM chip and earlier iPhones with an FM chip did not have the hardware to support FM reception.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/28/whose-fcc-is-this/

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    Quote Originally Posted by efparri View Post
    Apple has reported that iPhones since model 5S do not have an FM chip and earlier iPhones with an FM chip did not have the hardware to support FM reception.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/28/whose-fcc-is-this/
    I'm not buying their arguments, and I left a post over there. Somebody needs to look at the chip closely and find out definitively, I would bet a lot of money the piece of the chip is still there, it would cost too much money to change the chip just for Apple just to remove that for no real reason.

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    Who listens to FM anymore? The US should follow Norway’s lead and go all Digital and drop analog completely!
    Q: Would you patronize a streetwalker?

    A: No, I would treat her as an equal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by freediverdude View Post
    I'm not buying their arguments, and I left a post over there. Somebody needs to look at the chip closely and find out definitively, I would bet a lot of money the piece of the chip is still there, it would cost too much money to change the chip just for Apple just to remove that for no real reason.
    A chip alone would not make a working FM radio. You need an antenna and the connection inside the telephone so that the output would reach the speaker.

    By the way, out of the thirty-two Primary Entry Point (PEP) radio stations, only three broadcast on the FM band. The alerts are also sent out over satellite radio stations, cable television and live broadcast television stations and radio station. You would be told in the alert to which PEP station to tune to get official information. All of the PEP stations have backup power supplies , which regular stations may not have. Non-PEP station would be ordered to shutdown to force people to listen to the PEP broadcasts.

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer...07.4222565&z=4

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    Wow! I am shocked beyond belief. The Pai showing concern for the public he is supposed to serve? What's the catch?
    He also went on to say that he had no plans on really doing anything other than calling Apple out to enable FM radio in iPhones. That makes his actions mostly hot air:

    “As a believer in free markets and the rule of law, I cannot support a government mandate requiring activation of these [FM] chips,” Pai said in the aforementioned February speech. “I don’t believe the FCC has the power to issue a mandate like that, and more generally I believe it’s best to sort this issue out in the marketplace.”
    Source: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017...ps-in-iphones/
    nex·us [nek-suhs]
    noun, plural nex·us·es, nex·us.

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    The iPhone doesn’t even contain an FM radio on the chipset.. You would the chairman of the FCC would take the time to research this. He has access to all the documentation. http://9to5mac.com/2017/09/28/iphone...adio-features/

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    If only HDRadio® made a Tuner/Plug-in for lightning, like they did for the 30-pin....

    Sent from my LG-K371 using HoFo mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doolie View Post
    The iPhone doesn’t even contain an FM radio on the chipset.. You would the chairman of the FCC would take the time to research this. He has access to all the documentation. http://9to5mac.com/2017/09/28/iphone...adio-features/
    Correction: You would think the chairman of the FCC would take the time to research this. He has access to all the documentation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    Wow! I am shocked beyond belief. The Pai showing concern for the public he is supposed to serve? What's the catch?
    Yeah, I know, really LOL. THIS guy concerned about someone else? Not buying it.

    I'd like the radio activated, of course, but as much as I'm citizen-focused, I don't really think it's outlandish that a company makes a product that uses a product that doesn't use every single one of that product's features.

    Plus, assuming all of them can even do FM (something I'm not clear on) would they even have a way to use the antenna's on the phone for FM?

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