For colleges looking to get into traditional radio, the options are pretty slim. If you don’t already have a terrestrial radio station, you’re probably not going to get one.
“There are so few left on the dial and the FCC really tightly controls who gets radio stations,” says Lisa Falvey, an English professor who teaches production classes at Emmanuel College. “Licensure practice is really difficult to get through and so it’s really difficult for most college campuses now and for anybody to get a terrestrial station.”
For schools that can’t broadcast the traditional way, Internet radio is a good alternative.
Emmanuel College has a thriving Internet radio broadcast with over 60 hours of unique programming and listeners on almost every continent. The college began broadcasting in
2005, but it wasn’t until last year that the school found a technology that truly fit its needs.
“When we started we were using another service. They were deeply problematic for us. They were expensive, unstable, and we generally were not successful with it as a technology,” says Falvey.
The software went down sporadically making it unpredictable. Further adding to the college’s dissatisfaction, the software provider had begun charging listeners to gain access to premium stations. Emmanuel began looking into other options and eventually selected a software solution from Backbone.
“A college across the Fenway, Simmons uses it. We made some initial contact with them and they really raved about it,” says Falvey. “They took us to their station and showed us how it worked and they gave us a great recommendation for it. It seemed the natural way to go.”
In order to create a traditional radio broadcast, you need a studio with a mixing console, an assortment of microphones, a transmitter, etc. With an Internet radio station your computer and broadcasting software become your studio. You just need to add a small mixer and a microphone. The transmitter is the cloud servers and the radio set or box top is the listener’s