Press Communications Filing Rips HD Radio Power Increase
June 14, 2010 at 4:27 AM (PT)
PRESS COMMUNICATIONS has filed a reply with the FCC in the HD RADIO power increase docket that takes on the NAB, NPR, and iBIQUITY's response to PRESS' earlier opposition to thechange and request for stay. The filing takes hard shots at the FCC's process in approving the HD power increase, pointing out that accepting the decision of the "joint parties" who represent 18 groups and 1,200 stations ignores the "other 8,000+ stations who have not adopted HD RADIO or the 99% of the public who relies on analog FM." PRESS also argues that the increase will severely impact adjacent- and co-channel analog stations, especially Class A stations, by invading their 60 dBu contours.
"When someone has no facts to back up their position, or real facts to counter the arguments of others," writes PRESS CEO BOB MCALLAN, "I guess the best strategy is to ignore the facts altogether. That appears to be the strategy the three respondents, NAB, NPR and iBIQUITY have taken in opposition to the comments recently filed by PRESS (and others) in the matter of the HD power increase. Telling is the failure of the opposing parties to productively counter the legal and/or technical showings of PRESS and others. This should be considered empirical evidence that the opposing parties agree the six to 10 db increase in power in the Report and Order will be devastating to many analog stations, particularly in areas of the country where stations typically are at minimal spacings or are by definition, short spaced."
Countering iBIQUITY's claim that PRESS' focus is on "its overall displeasure with digital broadcasting rather than specific issues with the digital increase in the Order," PRESS responds, "We don’t know how much more specific we could be. From a purely technical standpoint, a digital power increase of 6 DB will cause massive amounts of new interference to analog class a stations that are minimally or short spaced (particularly in Zone I), be it Class A to Class B or in many instances, even Class A to Class A that are properly spaced." PRESS, which advocates converting the FM band to all-digital with expansion to additional frequencies like TV channels 5 and 6, says that the power increase rulemaking "seemed predetermined" by the FCC without proper testing and based on a "compromise" between two parties, NPR and iBIQUITY; PRESS notes that the parties' "agreement" was not put out for public comment before adoption by the Commission despite changes to NPR's report from 2008 to 2009.
PRESS concludes, "the true tragedy is that the Commission has been naiÌˆve enough to buy into what is a flawed technology and a failed business plan. Rather than admit its mistake leaving the system as originally promoted and approved, the Commission has decided to double down and risk the FM analog radio system the public relies upon every day as if the analog system were just chips on a gaming table. The American public has shown a willingness to quickly adopt new technologies when they fulfill a need and are well thought out. With 10 years experience we can safely say HD RADIO is not among the winners in the technology race."
Read the entire submission by clicking here.