Locast has continued its expansion with the latest location to be lit up with free access to broadcast channels being Puerto Rico. This follows on from the Sioux City, Iowa support announced in January.
Locast has not been without its issues lately, but it seems those troubles have not stopped the organization from expanding its reach. In announcing the latest location support, Locast explains its unique service will be of specific benefit to Puerto Rico as it not only prepares for coronavirus, but also hurricane season.
The announcement confirms that residents in Puerto Rico can now access a dozen local TV channels using the service with a focus on “local news, weather and storm coverage, emergency information, sports, and entertainment.” While the exact channels were not mentioned, interested local users can check what channels are available through the Locast website.
Locust expands while still facing legal pressure
Locast offers access to over-the-air channels for free. While these channels are free to access anyway, Locast makes the access possible by streaming the channels over the internet. Normally, this would require a business to pay the channel owners for the right to distribute the channels and this has resulted in many prominent names, including Disney, NBC, and Fox, taking legal action against Locast. However, Locast operates as a nonprofit and claims this status protects it from legal troubles under Copyright law.
While Locast does not charge a fee to use its service, it does highly encourage users to donate. However, donations to Locast are not one-off payments, but set up as a recurring monthly payment. From the user point of view, this is akin to a subscription with payments starting at $5 per month, although there’s no requirement to donate to use the service.
The only real requirement to use Locast is the location. In spite of being a streaming service and having apps available on multiple platforms, Locast currently only operates in a number of locations across the U.S. A list that has now grown by one more with the addition of Puerto Rico.