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Engineering the Public Interest, 1922-1925: Technological Rationality and Institutionalization of American Broadcasting
Unformatted Document Text:  12 farmers and rural residents. However, the consignment of Class A and C to lower wavelengths of below 275 meters required new sets for listeners. The Conference decided to encourage manufacturers to redesign radios covering the new range and listeners to learn how to tune in to that range. The industry stated that this decision was made from “the single view of the public interest.” 28 However, by January 1925, the Commerce Department knew that the application of the original Conference plan had become practically impossible, due to the growing number of Class B stations. The wavelengths were all repeated in each of the nine districts. Moreover, seven superpower (5,000-50,000 watts) stations were causing severe interference, bringing further complications to the channel allocation. To create more channels for Class B, the Department discussed squeezing the separation between stations. The continuous operation of Class B stations as providers of many regular programs was regarded as desirable. The division of time was considered a disservice to the public and inefficient because the overhead cost would be increased. 29 As an alternative for the voluntary regulation to reduce interference between Class B stations in metropolitan areas, one radio expert suggested that Westinghouse and GE ought to be assigned three frequencies together to each company in a certain scale. (E.g., They had six channels for their exclusive use, so Westinghouse could be assigned 1,000, 1,020, and 1,040 frequencies; and GE could be assigned 1.060, 1080, and 1,100 frequencies.) Western Electric and AT&T might be similarly assigned. The aim of allocation scheme was that they alone would be responsible for any interference between themselves. 30 Since Hoover’s allocation and power policy was mainly concerned about Class B, there was no policy consideration to remedy suffering of Class A and C. The number of educational stations on Class A and C had rapidly declined. Relegated to the lower and dense waveband and

Authors: Baek, Misook.
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farmers and rural residents. However, the consignment of Class A and C to lower wavelengths of
below 275 meters required new sets for listeners. The Conference decided to encourage
manufacturers to redesign radios covering the new range and listeners to learn how to tune in to
that range. The industry stated that this decision was made from “the single view of the public
interest.”
28
However, by January 1925, the Commerce Department knew that the application of the
original Conference plan had become practically impossible, due to the growing number of Class
B stations. The wavelengths were all repeated in each of the nine districts. Moreover, seven
superpower (5,000-50,000 watts) stations were causing severe interference, bringing further
complications to the channel allocation. To create more channels for Class B, the Department
discussed squeezing the separation between stations. The continuous operation of Class B
stations as providers of many regular programs was regarded as desirable. The division of time
was considered a disservice to the public and inefficient because the overhead cost would be
increased.
29
As an alternative for the voluntary regulation to reduce interference between Class B
stations in metropolitan areas, one radio expert suggested that Westinghouse and GE ought to be
assigned three frequencies together to each company in a certain scale. (E.g., They had six
channels for their exclusive use, so Westinghouse could be assigned 1,000, 1,020, and 1,040
frequencies; and GE could be assigned 1.060, 1080, and 1,100 frequencies.) Western Electric and
AT&T might be similarly assigned. The aim of allocation scheme was that they alone would be
responsible for any interference between themselves.
30
Since Hoover’s allocation and power policy was mainly concerned about Class B, there
was no policy consideration to remedy suffering of Class A and C. The number of educational
stations on Class A and C had rapidly declined. Relegated to the lower and dense waveband and


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