Should we shut down the LRN.FM satellite feeds?

September 5th, 2020 - 6:14pmby FTL_Adminin

A decade ago, about a year after its founding, I put LRN.FM on satellite over North and Central America and then in 2012 we added a satellite over Sub-Saharan Africa. It's something I was inspired to do after seeing satellite dishes being confiscated and destroyed by more-oppressive regimes. The idea was to do like RT has done for their propaganda and broadcast the ideas of liberty into the rest of the world - and in the case of Africa, the least-internet connected place on the planet.

The satellite feed would also allow pirate radio operators to pull our feed in remote places where they may want to have a transmitter but have no internet access. Satellite is a reliable audio delivery method pretty much 24/7.

However, very few people appear to share the vision. Our Patreon fundraiser that we've run since 2017 has a bunch of wonderful people donating, but under two-dozen of them total. We''re pulling in about 15% of our monthly satellite access costs.

Our three-year satellite contract renewal is coming up in 2021, and now is a good time to consider whether to continue or shut it down.

It's not about the money, it's about doing something without market support. Why should I bother if others don't value it enough to sustain it? Though I'm likely to continue the Sub-Saharan African feed on my own, as they are still largely without internet, as a continuing outreach project, it would be nice to have some confirmation that this project is worthwhile.

We have some time to fundraise before the window of time comes up when I'll need to notice the satellite company to potentially cancel feeds.

So my thought was to offer a matching donation to the satellite fund for anyone who joins the LRN.FM fundraiser. Also, if anyone else is feeling like doubling my matching, please reach out to me at ian at freetalklive.com. Our satellite bill is about $1000 a month, so if we can raise the current amount from $152 per month to $500 per month, with the Shire Free Church doubling the amount, that's enough to cover both existing satellite feeds. If we could get to $1000 raised per month, then I'd be able to add at least one new satellite channel elsewhere in the world. Perhaps we could put it to a vote from the Patrons as to what area of the world the new feed would cover.

Anyway, that's what I've been thinking about recently. If you are a user of our satellite feed, please let me know how you use it, just email me at ian at freetalklive.com. If you'd like to join the fundraiser for $2 or more per month, please visit http://fund.lrn.fm

Thank you for your continued support,
Ian