Tag Archives: National Association of Broadcasters

NAB Delivers Radios to Hurricane-Ravished Puerto Rico

(Source: NAB Blog via Richard Langley)

https://youtu.be/NtOpsVDnJzM

I recently had the opportunity of a lifetime. I was asked by my employer – the National Association of Broadcasters – to travel to Puerto Rico to help distribute 10,000 battery-operated radios to people in hurricane-ravaged island and the Virgin Islands.

The idea for the radio hand-out stemmed from a meeting where President and CEO Gordon Smith asked: “What can NAB and our industry do to help?” NAB swung into action, purchasing, shipping and delivering the radios in just 18 days.

I had seen pictures of the devastation in Puerto Rico, but nothing compares to seeing it in person. Most of Puerto Rico remained without power and drinkable water during our visit. Even in the Capitol of San Juan, power came almost exclusively from generators that had to be refilled with fuel or diesel daily by hand, sometimes every four hours. Police directed traffic at intersections.

People wait from six to 14 hours over three days to get tarps to cover the roofs of their houses. It’s common for people to wait in line for three hours to enter grocery stores, where bottled water is sold in rationed quantities. We saw 100-year-old trees uprooted, bringing concrete sidewalks with them and toppling power lines. We saw people living in cars or in tents on the beach. Recovery in areas away from the coast, where mountains and rain forests dominate the landscape, is occurring at a snail’s pace.

[…]People in 25 Puerto Rican municipalities, plus the U.S. Virgin Islands, received radios from our shipment of 10,000 devices. Donations from NAB, the National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations (NASBA) and multiple U.S. radio companies covered the cost of this project.[…]

Click here to read the full article at the NAB blog.

Many thank, Richard, for the tip! I’m most impressed with how quickly the NAB were able to source those radios and hand-deliver them to those in need.

At Ears To Our World, we’re in the process of doing something similar, though on a much smaller scale. We’re partnering with a Puerto Rico amateur radio club to deliver a number of self-powered radios and flashlights to those in need. If the distribution goes well, and there is still a need moving forward, we will increase the number we distribute.

By many accounts, it could still be weeks or months before electricity is fully restored to the island.

Great job, NAB!

Spread the radio love

NAB: “Setting the record straight on FM radio in iPhones”

(Source: Contributor Sam Matheny via the NAB Blog)

In recent months, the Southeast U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have been pummeled by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.  The wildfires in California have been equally devastating.  These storms and fires have wreaked havoc on communications networks and challenged public safety officials’ ability to get lifeline information to affected residents.

At a time when many Americans have come to rely on their smartphones, massive cellular outages were suffered from Texas to Florida on an even greater scale than in Superstorm Sandy five years ago, and California has also suffered major outages in key locations.  In Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, it may take weeks and even months to fully restore cellular service because of the damage to the electric grid.  This has been a painful reminder of the need for a redundant and pervasive communications infrastructure, especially in times of disaster and emergency.

Radio, television, cellular, satellite, and other communications networks all have a role to play in a crisis.  In the wake of these storms, a passionate discussion about activating FM radio in smartphones – and, specifically, Apple’s iPhone – has emerged. This discussion was started by those most impacted by Irma when the South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorialized on the issue and Senator Bill Nelson of Florida called for activating FM chips in smartphones.  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai also issued a public statement calling for Apple to activate FM chips to promote public safety and FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel also weighed in with her support.

There has been a good bit of technical back and forth since these calls to “light up the chip,” and this is my effort to try and set the record straight.

Here is the BLUF – Bottom Line Up Front

Apple has built and offered a wonderful FM app in their iPod Nano for many years.  They know how to make FM work, and work well, in their mobile devices.  Apple even wrote its own Nano app that allows the user to pause live radio and buffer up to 15 minutes of content.

However, Apple has specifically chosen not to offer this functionality in their iPhone. Indeed, Apple has disabled FM chips despite the capability being available on the communications module within the iPhone.  This means other app developers cannot offer FM apps either.

Apple CEO Tim Cook hails from Mobile, Alabama and attended Auburn University. Mobile has been impacted by at least 10 different hurricanes since 1969 and that was prior to Nate, which brought a nearly six-foot storm surge and flooding, so I have to believe Mr. Cook has a personal appreciation for the damage these storms can inflict.  We invite him and Apple to reconsider activating FM radio in iPhones, and we stand ready to work together to enable this important service.[…]

Continue reading the full article on the NAB blog.

Spread the radio love

NAB and other broadcasters donate 10,000 shortwave radios to Puerto Rico

(Source: AP)

With no end in sight for the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, the radio industry is putting its best foot forward to help the folks on the ground.

This week, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations, and a number of U.S. broadcasters announced they would fund the donation of 10,000 battery-operated radios to Puerto Rico, with the goal of providing information for those in need.

The battery-operated radios could prove an important resource, as just 16 percent of the island currently has power weeks after Hurricane Maria caused dramatic damage.

NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith emphasized that the situation underlines radio’s role “as a lifeline to communities desperate for information and support.”[…]

Continue reading at the Associated Press website.

I’m very happy to receive this news. At Ears To Our World, we’ve been trying to find the right way to send radios to the areas in Puerto Rico that are still without power. So far, it’s been difficult as distribution lines are clogged and we don’t want to interfere with the delivery of medical supplies, clean water and other basic necessities.

Very happy the NAB has donated so many radios and I hope they can reach the people who need them in good time.

Spread the radio love