Travis LeBlanc – a person you want to know

Travis LeBlanc is the head of the FCC Enforcement Bureau. Tom Wheeler put him in that position. He’s clearly an Obama technocrat.

I see big changes already, and they are positive. As I’m going through the list, it is obvious the Enforcement people are going after the “Vewy Quiet” radio stations, forcing them to either file STA requests or sell their derelict stations. Whether they are using my list, I don’t know ūüėČ more likely, they are monitoring signals via an NSA satellite and finding the missing signals.

But if he were here, I would hug him for something else he just did. EBay is preparing to sell off PayPal and unilaterally changed their terms of service – that unless you cancel your PayPal account, you are consenting to receive robocalls – including to your cell phone – even if you never gave them you cell phone number.

I tried to cancel my account which had $.67 in it for the last 10 years. You can’t close your account unless the balance is $0.00. You can’t transfer amounts less than $1.00, and sending a paper check costs $1.50. I was able to call their toll free number and think the account is now closed.

The FCC is kicking Paypal’s ass in the strongest possible terms. Inaction is not consent to receive robocalls in violation of Federal law, which carries a fine of up to $16,000 per message.

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7 Responses to Travis LeBlanc – a person you want to know

  1. Art Stone says:

    The NAB has a memo for Mr LeBlanc:

    Dear Mr Leblanc,

    Welcome to the FCC Enforcement Division. Since you previously worked as a prosecutor, we think you may not understand the responsibilities of your position. The legislation authorizing the FCC’s jurisdiction was drafted by the NAB 80 years ago. The FCC and NAB have worked closely together to ensure national security and respect public policy, on issues like spectrum allocation, aircraft safety and use of unauthorized transmitters. The NAB and its members are not the enemy. We have the legal resources and backing of Congress in the existing relationship. We look forward to working together for our mutual goals. We would like to meet at your earliest convenience to clear up any misunderstandings before they become issues requiring litigation or Congressional intervention.


  2. Art Stone says:

    Tom Taylor’s lead item this morning is that one of the FCC’s two Republican members is on the war path over this guy. Mr LeBlanc’s background is as a prosecutor, not a buddy who schmoozes with radio owners at the NAB convention.

    Clear Channel / iHeart just got hit with a $1 million fine because a syndicated morning host played a recording of the EAS national test, causing radio stations and cable systems all over the country to go into EAS mode and stay stuck there as there was no “end of message” sequence. That got people’s attention.

  3. CC1s121LrBGT says:

    After thinking about your comment of being near the point of ‚Äúnobody cares any more‚ÄĚ, I think you are right. When I was a kid, I had a transistor radio and was proud that it had as many transistors (or more!) than my friends’ transistor radios. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kid in recent years with a radio unless you count a cell phone as a radio.

    Any reinvention is likely to involve cell phone towers and micro broadcasting. I was reading recently that cell phone towers ( and perhaps the cell phone companies themselves) are getting involved in communicating with drones.

    Once you decide on micro broadcasts from cell phone towers, it makes no sense for it to be unidirectional (broadcast) rather than bidirectional interaction.

    • Art Stone says:

      One oddity in the ratings this year is a surge in listening on stations carrying baseball. That doesn’t make any sense. For PPM to work right, it needs a strong audio bed on which to lay down the watermark. Baseball has long periods of near silence. Radio people are convincing each other this “flaw” in PPM is why talk shows are in the toilet – despite ratings going up for NPR stations and a few stations like WLW and WSB still being highly rated.

      One positive trend is it looks like those college stations that didn’t give up or turn their licenses over to NPR affiliates are showing signs of sprouting new listeners. I think Facebook is playing a role in this. It must be hard being a college student trying to sort out the world. College students today just barely remember 9/11 if at all, and don’t know what the world was like without the Internet. Ronald Reagan is as abstract to them as Herbert Hoover was to my generation.

  4. CC1s121LrBGT says:

    That is excellent news, Art. Thanks for reporting it. I read a lot of news from a lot of news sources and have found this no where else. Have you ever considered writing a syndicated column so that this information gets wider distribution?

    What would it take to move the USA away from analog radio transmissions the way European countries have gone digital and the way we have gone all digital for television? It that something the FCC is empowered to do, or would it take an act of Congress? I believe Congress mandated the switch to digital television. Wishing Mr. LeBlanc much success.

    • Art Stone says:

      The stumbling block is the analog radios in existing cars and the patented technology controlled by Ibiquity that people don’t want to have to pay to license.

      TV got there by temporarily assigning dual channels during the transition and then doing a hard cutover, offering cash to consumers to buy a converter box or buy a new TV.

      The “root problem”is the NAB doesn’t want more channels in each market. They purposely created crap HD channels with unappealing content to kill any interest in HD.

      We’re rapidly approaching “nobody cares any more”. Hybrid FM was a huge mistake. The HD signals have to be kept weak so their sideband signal doesn’t create noise on the analog receivers. Using TV channel 6 as a digital only transition has possibilities. With a couple hundred million FM car radios, any transition shorter than 10 years will cost a lot of money. The non-com licenses would probably be the easiest to move. NPR could give away free digital radios.

      There might be other ways to get from here to there like FM digital
      To Bluetooth converters – I have the impression Bluetooth capability is common in new cars.

    • Art Stone says:

      “Have you ever considered writing a syndicated column so that this information gets wider distribution?”

      The fact that I block search engines from the blog and disabled the RSS feeds probably is a clue.

      I wonder if Zerohedge has any links pointing here?

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