In times of crisis, FM chips in smartphones will better serve public

Disasters strike every year in every corner of America. Hurricanes on the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard, ice storms in the Midwest and Plains states, wildfires in the west and arid states of the southwest, tornados through our nation’s heartlands and flooding along the Mississippi and elsewhere. And horrific acts of terrorism like the Boston Marathon, the Oklahoma City federal building bombings and the attacks on September 11th are all too familiar reminders of just how important information is during and after these events. During every hurricane, tornado, flood and wildfire, local public radio stations play an essential role in conveying information about response efforts, local relief supplies, evacuation orders, emergency routes, and where to find food, shelter and fuel, as well as on-the-ground, at-the-scene reporting to help affected communities understand and respond. Because of public radio’s role as a trusted media and information resource and an essential public-safety asset, we hope all stations will join us in calling upon the mobile phone industry to install and activate FM chips in all cellphones and smartphones.

FM tuners in smartphones may be coming soon

FM tuners on smartphones could soon be a reality. On Tuesday,  at the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, representatives of Sprint Nextel said that some phone models could soon come equipped with FM chips. Sprint said it had entered into a preliminary agreement with radio industry representatives that will let its customers listen to local FM stations. “FM radio could be delivered through the NextRadio tuner application or other radio apps or services,” the company said, in a release. “This is a great development for the radio industry, one which will help us bring the content and services that only radio can provide to the wireless system,” said Bob Pittman, c.e.o. of Clear Channel.