I was hoping that this was going to be a safety issue as hm said, but I caught this article on Information Week (http://www.informationweek.com/news/hardware/handheld/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=226900096&subSection=News) only to discover that this is a non-taxpayer funded bailout of the radio industry and the recording industry. In exchange for bumping up bogus listener numbers to boost ad sales, the NAB is promising to to pay the recording industry $100M annually for broadcasting music. what a waste of effort.
It is already possible to broadcast messages to mbile phones - by texting. That is more effective than FM radio since you will receive the message also if your phone is off at the time of broadcasting. This method is already used in several countries.
Politicians mandating technical features is not how I prefer to life. If a need a nanny I will hire one.
A federal, state or local mandate in the US for FM reception by mobile handset cry's out - - special interest!
This feature, in the not too distant had been available on mobile phones from both Nokia & Motorola. This seldom used feature by US consumers eventually feel off the feature-function marketing requirement list, and from this product engineer's perspective should stay out of the design of handsets until considerable consumer demand requires and begs for FM radio on the handset.
Here's a feature-function I'd like to see in mobile phones --- How about a quality of service requirement that would result in "fewer dropped calls."
Now this is a feature where we have pent-up consumer demand!
Mandating FM radio in every cell phone handset appears to be nothing more than a ploy to increase broadcast royalties. There is no other valid reason to include FM in a handset. For local community announcements, the wireless provider can send a text to every cell phone in the local area (such as the ones I get every time I get near the southern US border on IH-8 or IH-10) telling me what the costs are for services in that country. There are a number of things that can be done that would be far better and less obtrusive than requiring an unused FM receiver in every cell phone.
One major aspect for mandating FM radio in every cell phone (and making it ON remotely) may be requirement from emergency announcement and security response. In case of earthquake, tsunami, flash flood, terrorist attack etc. this may be able to save few life. Take an example of 9/11. Having cell phone with FM radio and making it ON remotely would have played significant difference to many lives. Same thing could be true for Virginia Technology University shooting incident.
I would also strongly recommend this form cultural point of view. You must get engaged to local community announcement and having this in cell phone may encourage family to do so. You may always use other options of your choice.