Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Revival of the FSM Broadcast Association

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): December 3, 2010 - From November 30, to December 2, representatives from the four FSM state radio stations of Yap, Kosrae, Chuuk and Pohnpei, met to discuss the reinvigoration of the national FSM Broadcast Association (FSMBA).

The revival of FSMBA was triggered by the visit to FSM of Tony Soccio, Technical Coordinator with Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Soccio, sponsored by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), undertook a one week visit to Kosrae, Chuuk and Pohnpei, to make a technical assessment of the status of each state's radio station. Soccio did not visit Yap, as the Yap Radio Station (V6AI) has been deemed to be in very good operating condition at this time.

Soccio's visit, as well as the FSMBA meeting was entirely spearheaded and organized by Shelten Neth, newly appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of FSMBA, and Commissioner of Pohnpei Broadcasting Corporation (V6AH). Present at the meeting were members of Neth's staff: Jovencio David, Radio Engineer, Sweeter Kalio, Program Director, and Augustine Sue, Assistant Program Director. Also participating were McDonald Ittu and Keitson Jonas, from V6AJ Radio Kosrae, Patrick Blank, Public Diplomacy Research Officer with the Australian Embassy in Pohnpei, and Judy Mahan, FSM Special Assistant to the President for Public Information.

Among the key topics discussed during the meeting, the association analyzed, first and foremost, the results of Soccio's findings and each radio station's basic equipment needs in order to be able to provide 24 hour broadcast service. Also discussed were options for alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind, to power the radio stations; and of course, much discussion regarding possible funding sources to ensure the necessary upgrades and maintenance of each station's technical equipment.

The Chuuk Radio Station, currently non-operative, was seen as the biggest area of concern, the station's generator having been down for the past three months. Soccio advised the FSMBA that the generator could probably be repaired with the installation of a new radiator and turbo-charger; however, for all else, Soccio recommended serious refurbishment of the building housing the radio station and strongly suggested installing all new broadcasting equipment, as little could be salvaged from what was currently in place.

McDonald announced that the Kosrae Radio Station had been elected the lucky recipient of a matching grant from the Rural Development Division of the United States Department of Agriculture, for a total of approximately $63,000. He specified the grant will be used to refurbish the Kosrae Radio Station building which has been assessed, and found to be devastatingly termite-ridden.

Soccio affirmed that the Pohnpei Radio Station was in overall good condition. However, he noted that the station was operating as best it could with very basic equipment and could most certainly use some upgrades from amateur to professional technical equipment. Soccio was overall quite impressed by the excellent condition and maintenance of the station's transmitter.

The FSMBA will be provided with a detailed report for each FSM state radio station from Tony Soccio in the upcoming weeks.

FSMBA was originally created on September 11, 1991. It is a non-profit association, organized for the purpose of establishing cooperative and mutual assistance between the state radio stations and other broadcasting associations throughout the Pacific region; promoting the development of broadcasting in the FSM; providing training for the employees of the members of the association, as well as ensuring technical cooperation among these same members.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356