FCC Updates Broadcast Radio Regulations

The FCC has announced that six updated broadcast technical rules will become effective on April 18, 2022. The changes are part of the FCC’s effort to eliminate or amend outdated or unnecessary broadcast radio regulations. The rule changes are:

Maximum AM Transmitter Power Limit

  • The FCC eliminated the equipment limitation on AM transmitter power. AM stations of any class can now use transmitters of any rated power.

AM Fill-in Area Definition

  • The FCC harmonized across different rules the definition of “AM fill-in area” for FM translators that rebroadcast AM stations.

Border FM Rules

  • The FCC updated two rule sections that address allocation and power limitations to conform with the requirements in FM broadcasting treaty agreements with Canada and Mexico.

NCE FM Community of License Coverage

  • The FCC changed the language of certain older rule parts to conform with the updated standard that a Noncommercial Educational (NCE) applicant must show that its predicted 60 dBu contour will cover at least 50% of the relevant community of license or reach 50% of the population within the community.

NCE Class D Overlap

  • The FCC updated the signal strength contour overlap requirements for noncommercial FM Class D stations to correspond with the contour overlap requirements for all other NCE FM station classes.

Grandfathered Common Carrier Protections in Alaska

  • The FCC eliminated four rules that had protected grandfathered common carrier services in Alaska from FM radio station interference. No Alaska common carrier services remain in the band.

If you have questions about these rule changes or FCC broadcast rule compliance in general, please contact an attorney in our Media practice group.

Categories: Media