Broadcasters Jointly File to Modify AM Rules

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Broadcasters Jointly File to Modify AM Rules
Washington - May 4, 2007 - A group of broadcasters, broadcast consulting engineers and broadcast equipment manufacturers have jointly filed ex parte comments with the FCC in the long-standing further notice of proposed rulemaking (FNPRM) called An Inquiry Into the Commission's Policies and Rules Regarding AM Radio Service Directional Antenna Performance Verification (MM Docket 93-177). The FNPRM was established to consider allowing computer modeling as a means of verifying AM directional antenna performance.

The filing group, calling itself the AM Directional Antenna Performance Verification Coalition, is comprised of these groups:

Clear Channel
Family Stations
Lincoln Financial Media
Morris Communications
Mutlicultural Radio
Peak Broadcasting
Carl T. Jones
Cavelll, Mertz and Assoc.
Communications Technologies
du Treil, Lundin and Rackley
Radiotechniques Engineering
Hammett and Edison
Hatfield and Dawson
Khanna and Guill
Radiotechniques Manufacturing
Sellmeyer Engineering

The work of this group over the past five months has produced the filing, which offers suggested modifications to the FCC Rules to permit computer modeling. The filing notes that the requirements of the current rules to verify antenna performance rely on field strength measurements is flawed because such measurements are often unreliable because of terrain, seasonal, and construction effects. The coalition submits that computer modeling can better evaluate the realities of terrain without the unpredictable effects that affect field strength readings.

The coalition includes revisions to two sections of the FCC rules: 73.151 and 73.61. It also suggests an addition to create 73.155, and also a new rule for Parts 17, 22, 27 and 73 that covers construction near or on an AM tower.

The coalition is comprised of a number of leading broadcasters and consultants, and their collective voice will no doubt have a significant influence on the FCC's action on this, assuming that some action is taken in the near term.

The complete text of the filing will be available on the FCC in a few days.

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