In a dispatch system, power of the forward link broadcast channel transmitted from a base station is controlled such that the power level is the minimum necessary and such that transmission of the forward link broadcast channel is terminated if no remote unit is located within the coverage area of the base station. In addition to transmitting a forward link broadcast signal, the base station monitors an access channel. A first remote unit in the base station coverage area receives and decodes the forward link broadcast signal. The first remote unit determines a signal quality of said forward link broadcast signal. If the signal quality is unacceptable, the remote unit transmits a power request access message. The base station responds to the request by increasing the transmission power of forward link broadcast channel. If no requests are received at the base station, the forward link broadcast channel is slowly decreased to a minimum. Transmission of the forward link broadcast channel may be terminated completely.