Radio Free Olympia

Radio Free Olympia is a 100 watt unlicensed (pirate) FM radio station operating on 98.5 Mhz since March of 2001.

Their website is interesting in as much as they have gone out of their way to honor requests from legitimate broadcasters to avoid interference. They started operation on 91.3 Mhz in the spring of 2001, until threatened by FCC in May of 2002.

They came back on the air for five days in September of 2002 after joining forces with some elements of Free Radio Cascadia in a protest against the NAB in Seattle.

Radio Free Olympia reformed in Olympia on 91.3 in May of 2003. On October 29, 2004, in response to a request from KBCS in Bellevue, a student run station at Bellevue Community College, they changed frequencies to 101.9 Mhz to avoid interfering with them.

On March 1, 2005, they again changed frequencies to 98.5 Mhz at the request of KSWW in Gray’s Harbor which operated on 102.1 Mhz to avoid adjacent channel interference.

I think they’ve set an excellent example in this regard, taking the necessary steps to remedy any interference. I think it’s important than pirate radio station operators do this because if they voluntarily address interference issues it undermines the one legitimate claim that regulators have against unlicensed radio stations, that is causing interference to legitimate operations.

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