Because Verizon makes money off of Streaming apps. they want to make you use data for something that should be free. the lie is that it costs them money to turn it on. it does not, it takes revenue streams away. app developers and Verizon make money by providing FM streaming apps. but if the system goes down, then you have nothing, if the radio were activated, you would at least have access to local emergency information you can let your representative know and insist they do something about it.