Regional Rural Radio Strategy

1. Regional (sub-regional) rural radio in support of regional collaborative communication for sustainability:

It would seem that rural communities now realize the wisdom of working together and communicating with other neighbouring communities.

Community radio is recognized globally as an important tool for facilitating communication both within and between rural communities.

The snag is that much of the terrain of rural NL is not flat so it is difficult to set up low power radio so it has the range to reach neighbouring communities separated by hills and cliffs.

The technical solution is to use unmanned repeater stations. Conventionally this is accomplished by setting up a receiver/antenna to pick up the signal from the airwaves and then connecting to a transmitter/antenna in the same location which rebroadcasts the original signal.

This can be repeated through the mountains or down the coast. Burgeo Broadcasting uses the same concept to send its wireless internet signal to communities along the sou'west coast.

Our situation is some outports are so isolated they can't receive the signal through the airwaves.

We propose webcasting the original broadcast signal. The remote communities (even using dialup) will receive the webcast with a computer and connect to a transmitter/antenna to rebroadcast in the community.

Theoretically in the small outports we should be able to use lower power and cheaper transmitters.

In March, 2010, we supported the Cape Shore Community Radio event with a low power transmitter set up at Fatima High School in St. Bride's. The event was simultaneously webcast.

Now, January, 2011, we have been requested by the school for support in organizing another community radio event and planning for a permanent installation.

The school wants to work with the community committee that organized the 2010 event. The only caveat is that the event has to be broadcast in all the communities.

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