AFTER half a year of discussion, definite action has been taken by the Government to properly regulate radio broadcasting.
At this writing the bill finally agreed upon by the special committees appointed by the Senate and the House of Representatives has already been ratified by the House and there is every reason to believe it will have become a law by the time this is read.
Whatever its imperfections may prove to be it insures certain essential points that the radio public from one end of the country to the other have reason to be thankful for.
The passage of this bill means that a commission of five members, appointed by the President, will begin at once to untangle the confusion in the air that has been threatening the popularity and growth of radio for some months past. Had this legislation been put over until Fall, much valuable time would have been lost.
As it is, some of the problems to be solved are none too easy and cannot be worked out over night. But the passage of this law will undoubtedly mean a new and better era in radio reception and the eventual removal of all avoidable confusion in the air channels.
It means, too, that greater care will be given to the licensing of new broadcasting stations and to the continuing of licenses to those of least benefit to the public. And this can only result in redoubled efforts to eliminate worthless and objectionable features from broadcasting and to further strengthen the appeal of the countless worth while services radio can always offer.
One of the outstanding provisions of the bill is the stipulation that the commission may issue only so many licenses as public interest, convenience and necessity seem to demand. The station licensed must also waive all claim to right to the use of any wave length as against the regulatory power of the United States.
The intense interest that has been shown in all sections of the country in this subject is the best possible proof that the interest of the public in the radio is firmly established. Also that the time is past when it will be content with anything and everything that receivers succeed in capturing from the air.
The feeling is general that the services thus far rendered by radio have only paved the way for services of still more valuable character directed with a clearer understanding both of the limitations and the possibilities of this wonderful new factor in our daily life.