FCC DENIES BROADCAST LICENSE IN AMERICAN SAMOA FOR SAMOA’S RADIO 2AP

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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (December 1, 2001)---The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has rejected an American Samoa government request for a local broadcast license for the Samoa government-owned Radio 2AP.

The request had been prompted by the September 2000, inter-Samoa government meeting in Savai’i. Both sides had agreed to work together in securing the establishment of Radio 2AP in Pago Pago because of its wide-coverage capability.

Local radio broadcasts do not reach the north shore villages of Tutuila and many parts of the Manu’a Island group. This has the potential of creating a problem during natural disasters and other island-wide emergencies.

Bringing Radio 2AP to the territory, the meeting pointed out, would be very helpful in case of disaster and other emergency situations.

The territorial government has set aside office space for Radio 2AP at the Territorial Emergency Management Coordinating Office (TEMCO) in Tafuna.

But a meeting of the two Samoas held yesterday at the Convention Center revealed that the FCC, which governs telecommunication and broadcast licensing for states and U.S. territories, denied a broadcast license for Radio 2AP.

Samoa’s Broadcasting Services director Kika Stowers told the gathering that the agency was ready to mobilize equipment in the territory but only just learned at the meeting of the FCC’s denial of a license.

American Samoa had lobbied for FCC approval during discussions held in Washington D.C. Local officials also met with Samoa officials to secure a license for Radio 2AP.

"A license appears unavailable because the FCC lacks jurisdiction over a foreign-owned radio station," Governor Tauese Sunia told yesterday’s gathering.

However, both Tauese and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi agreed that Radio 2AP will continue to play a role in disaster awareness for both Samoas.

Tauese also said local businesses still have the opportunity to advertise on Radio 2AP, thereby pouring more new revenues into neighboring Samoa.

This year’s Disaster Week, which was to have been a joint venture between the two Samoas, was canceled as security attention was focused on the local front, following the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.

It was agreed upon at the meeting that the two countries will hold a joint-awareness week next year "as we continue to mitigate, prepare, respond, and recover from the wrath of nature and the evils of mankind to make the necessary changes to protect the lives and property of our people," explained ASG (American Samoa government) officials in a progress report.

"A combined effort between the two countries in protecting their people from the adverse effects of disasters, natural and manmade, has become a ritual for the two Samoas," added the officials.

Items from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

For additional reports from the Samoa News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Samoa News.

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