THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF SUSPENSION OF KIRIBATI'S NEWAIR FM PROJECT

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TARAWA, Kiribati (October 31, 2001 - Kiribati Newstar/PINA Nius Online)---The third anniversary of the suspension of Kiribati's independent commercial FM broadcast venture, Newair FM101, has passed.

The station would have been the country's first independent commercial station and would have competed with the government-owned Radio Kiribati.

But following a police criminal investigation, directors Atiera Tetoa and Ieremia Tabai were charged with "importing telecommunications equipment without a permit." They were subsequently fined $US 25 in the Bairiki magistrates court.

Despite numerous requests to government authorities requesting approval for a broadcasting license, they appear to be no closer to going on the air.

Newair FM101 has a 1,000 watt Stereo FM transmitter, manufactured in Italy by broadcast equipment manufacturer BTK. It is ready to begin operation.

Because of the long delay obtaining a broadcast license the company launched the Kiribati Newstar newspaper [http://www.users.bigpond.com/kiribati_newstar] to provide the people of Kiribati with an alternative to the government-owned news media.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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