We have had a few questions that deal specifically with broadcast radio. That is, some form of one-to-many transmissions, occasionally on frequency bands specifically assigned to broadcast radio as well.

Should we consider questions that deal specifically with broadcast radio of some sort to be off topic for the site?

  • $\begingroup$ A quibble — you're describing it as being about one-to-many, which is done in amateur radio (for example, APRS has many one-to-many transmit-only stations). In the US the definition of broadcasting is transmissions to “the general public”, which is a narrower category. We don't have to stick to a particular definition of terms, but we do have to make sure exactly what we're declaring off-topic is well-defined. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Reid AG6YO Jun 23 '14 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ @KevinReidAG6YO Good point, and one I feel I cover to a greater extent in my self-answer. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Jun 23 '14 at 17:39

Yes. To quote Wikipedia's definition of amateur radio, it

is the use of designated radio frequency spectra for purposes of private recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communication.

Similar language is found in both national and international regulation surrounding amateur radio. The key words in the above snippet for the purpose of this question would be designated frequency spectra and exchange of messages, neither of which applies to broadcast operation (one-to-many transmissions with no intention or expectation of a response) in non-amateur frequency ranges. Broadcasting in a form receivable by the general public also does not, as I see it, involve any of wireless experimentation, self-training (with regards to the use of radio) or emergency communications, and it is doubtful whether it can be considered a private recreational activity.

Hence, while questions relating to non-amateur two-way radio communications may be on topic, and use of other types of radio equipment (for example, wifi networking) in an amateur setting may be on topic, questions relating to broadcasting should not be considered on topic as there is nothing about them that relate to amateur radio. Just because the site has "radio" in its name does not mean everything relating to radio is on topic.


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