Editorial: You need the radio that's in your phone - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Editorial: You need the radio that's in your phone

(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Most of our area dodged the severe damage that crippled Florida during Hurricane Irma. But we're only a severe storm away from being without electricity, and most, if not all, of our ways to get emergency information.

Puerto Rico is a brutal example of the end of communications when cell towers go down.

When cell towers go down, your cell phone won't do you any good... but it COULD, if the FCC would require cell phone makers to ENABLE the FM RADIO capability that's already inside your phone.

During Irma, WALB's constant weather updates were carried by a 100-thousand Watt FM radio station that broadcasts in a nearly 100-mile circle around its transmitter.

That FM radio signal requires no TV, no internet, and no electricity, as long as you have a charge on your smart phone.

Why don't cell phone makers enable the chip that makes this possible?

It probably comes down the money some companies make by NOT having the FM radio capability.

We don't think that's reason enough. When life is potentially at stake, the FCC ought to step in and REQUIRE activation of the FM Radio component of your smartphone.

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