On Wednesday, October 5, the National Association of Broadcasters hosted a webinar on FM chips in smartphones.
The discussion touched on status of hybrid radio and activation of the FM chip by carriers and manufacturers. But upon mention of an FCC recommendation that smartphone users receive vital information in emergency situations “particularly when the wireless network is down or overloaded,” the conversation abruptly turned to a major hurricane chugging toward the U.S. East Coast.
One of the panelists, Commonwealth Broadcasting President and CEO Steve Newberry predicted: “Unfortunately, this weekend there is going to be hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people whose cell phone and internet is going to go down and they’re going to need lifesaving information. The best source of that is going to be over-the-air radio. And if you can get that on a device wherever you are, that’s in the best interest of public safety.”
We couldn’t agree more. And that’s why we’ve been committed since the outset to this industry-wide effort to get an FM radio on every phone.
It’s a coincidence that as the panel was underway, we were producing weather emergency radio spots and scripts that broadcasters can use to inform their listeners about tuning in to local FM stations on their smartphones – even when the power goes out or cell towers go down.
If your stations aren’t aware of the spots, please help spread the word. If you are aware, then we ask that you run them any time a weather emergency is imminent. The NextRadio app is just one more way for people to stay informed. And perhaps stay safe.