WASHINGTON, D.C.—In the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is calling on smartphone companies to active FM chips in their phones. The technology would enable smartphone users to access FM radio transmissions.

While some industry leaders have wanted Apple to enable the chips for business reasons, Pai cites public safety as his primary motivation.

Womble Carlyle Telecom attorney John Garziglia discussed Pai’s request with Communications Daily, saying, “This is a unique situation…One broadcaster can inform millions of people.”

While Pai doesn’t have the authority to order companies to enable the FM chips, he can—and obviously will—use his position to encourage them to act.

John Garziglia represents radio and television broadcasters, offering personalized assistance in all areas of communications and telecommunications law including transactional and contract negotiations for broadcast station mergers and acquisitions, the securing of financing, governmental auctions of new frequencies, license renewals, new stations applications, facility changes, facility upgrades, licensing, and compliance with FCC rules, regulations and policies.


Follow John Garziglia on Twitter at @JohnGarziglia.