I'm not sure what to call this but I had an interesting conversation with a son of a large ranch owner about radio. He thinks this is legal but I wonder if it is.
Here's a huge ranch, roughly 40+ square miles, owned by a family. It is in the middle of nowhere. In fact, the radio dial is blank. The fellow told me his idea: an over the air radio station designed to not radiate beyond the ranch's property. He claims if the coverage area does not exceed the area the ranch covers, it is legal, not requiring a FCC license. His reasoning is akin to closed circuit radio once commonplace on college campuses.
I noted it is not closed circuit, so not the same thing.
I work in radio managing a station but I sure didn't have an answer for him. And I'm not an engineer.
His reasoning is it gets pretty dull out there running cattle, cutting hay and such. He says the ability for the foreman's house to reach workers is a concern (I'd say getting help if somebody working out there would be a bigger deal). He reasoned some music and the ability to get news to ranch hands was something they'd like. As you might suspect, a cell phone is useless out there.
His station would need to cover an area of about 6 by 7 miles.
Those of you who know about such things please chime in. My thinking is illegal but I seem to recall something about covering private land being okay. This is just a big 'spread' if you will.