FCC Proposes FM HD Radio Power Increase

The FCC is proposing to allow more FM radio stations to increase their HD Radio power levels and is asking for public input on its proposal.

The FCC wants to change how FM stations calculate their maximum digital power when determining if they are eligible to increase hybrid digital effective radiated power up to 10% of analog power. Using the proposed methodology would mean a larger number of FM stations could boost IBOC power.

The FCC also wants to simplify the procedures stations must go through when boosting digital power. Under its proposal, stations could increase power up to -10 dBc without submitting a contour analysis and without seeking prior FCC authorization. Stations would only be required to file a simple notification with the FCC. Stations could also operate with permanent HD asymmetric sidebands as a routine matter after notifying the FCC, and would no longer need to seek ongoing experimental authorizations.

More than 2,000 FM stations currently broadcast digitally, but many broadcasters have complained that current power restrictions create digital signal problems including difficulty penetrating buildings.

Comments are due by September 21, 2023, and reply comments are due October 6, 2023.

If you would like more information about these HD Radio proposals or would like to file comments, please contact an attorney in our Media practice group.

Categories: Media