Digital FM Power Increase OK'd By FCC
January 29, 2010 at 2:22 PM (PT)
The FCC Media Bureau has adopted rules to allow FM stations to increase their digital IBOC signals' power up to 10% of their analog power. The rule change permits the power increase on a voluntary basis, giving stations the ability to increase digital power by 6 dB. Stations already grandfathered as "super-powered" facilities in excess of current class maximums will be limited to protect against interference.
The new rules also establish application procedures for digital power increases up to 10 dB, and create remediation procedures to settle interference disputes within 90 days, and leave the issue of digital power levels open for revisitation if the new signals interfere with analog reception.
The new rules will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
The NAB Response
"Today's ruling will result in greatly improved indoor reception for HD Radio listeners and greater service reliability for portable HD Radio devices," NAB EVP DENNIS WHARTON said. "Broadcasters salute the FCC for taking this important step, which will allow free and local radio stations to better serve communities across AMERICA."