Radio Currents Online - Dec 22 - Dec 28, 2003

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FCC Releases Data on High-Speed Services For Internet Access

Washington, D.C.- Dec 22, 2003 - The FCC has released summary statistics of its latest data on the deployment of high-speed connections to the Internet in the United States. Facilities-based service providers file data with the FCC on the amount of high-speed connections in service twice a year.

For reporting purposes, high-speed lines are defined as those that provide services at speeds exceeding 200kb/s in at least one direction, while advanced services lines are those that provide services at speeds exceeding 200kb/s in both directions.

High-Speed Lines

DRM Expects Big Year in 2004

Geneva - Dec 23, 2003 – In recent years, Digital Radio Mondiale’s Commercial Committee has been actively engaged in assembling coalitions of broadcasters, network operators, regulators, manufacturers and retailers in key markets, in preparation for DRM’s commercial launch. DRM national coalitions are firmly established in several countries, with industry experts meeting on a regular basis to coordinate the various angles of DRM’s commercial rollout.

The DRM Consortium formed in 1998 when a group of broadcasters and manufacturers joined forces to create a universal, digital system (also called DRM) for the AM broadcasting bands below 30MHz. Since then, DRM has expanded into an international consortium of more than 70 broadcasters, manufacturers, network operators, research institutions, broadcasting unions and regulatory bodies. Since DRM’s debut in June, more than 50 broadcasters have started transmitting their daily, weekly or periodic DRM programs.

In France, national electronics retailers engage in DRM launch planning sessions with national and international broadcasters. In Germany, the national group led by Commercial Committee Vice Chairman Michael Pilath has launched its own German-language website,, which is linked to DRM’s existing English-language website at DRM’s national group in Spain has expanded, and has made significant progress in introducing DRM into national political platforms.

In December 2003, Russia announced that it has chosen DRM for its digital test transmissions project on short-wave. The project, which extends through December 2005, was authorized by Russia’s State Commission on Radio Frequencies on Dec. 1. The test results will be presented to the commission in early 2006, with authorization for the implementation of Russia’s DRM network expected.

China is currently testing DRM for its future domestic and international use. In August, DRM and the World DAB Forum announced their cooperation. This collaboration paves the way for DRM- and DAB-capable receivers in the near future. Sony has committed to help expand the markets for digital radio in Europe, pledging its active support in the commercial sectors of DRM and the World DAB Forum.

In November 2003, DRM had a strong presence at the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union and All India Radio (ABU-AIR) Regional Symposium on Digital Radio in New Delhi. Symposium attendees also had the opportunity to hear a variety of DRM short-wave transmissions, sent live into the studios of AIR.

The commercial launch of a variety of Digital Radio Mondiale products will begin in 2004. The first product to be delivered in the New Year will be Mayah’s DRM2010 receiver, developed along with DRM member Coding Technologies and Chinese manufacturer Himalaya.

The DRM2010 is a second-generation DRM receiver. It is expected to hit the marketplace in early 2004. The receiver also receives analog signals for medium-wave/AM, long-wave, short-wave and FM. More information and order forms can be found at

ISPs Protected from Identifying Music Downloaders

Washington - Dec 19, 2003 - A federal appeals court ruled that the recording industry can't force Internet providers to identify music downloaders. The move is viewed by some to be a major setback to the industry's anti-piracy campaign. While the ruling does not legalize distribution of copyrighted songs over the Internet, it makes it more costly for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to track the efforts and subsequently sue those who swap music online.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned a trial judge's decision to enforce copyright subpoenas, one of the most effective tools used by the recording industry. The subpoena power was established by a law passed before the explosive growth of swapping music online.

The appeals court said the 1998 copyright law doesn't cover popular file-sharing networks used by tens of millions of Americans to download songs. The law "betrays no awareness whatsoever that Internet users might be able directly to exchange files containing copyrighted works," the court wrote.

The judges sympathized with the recording industry, which has cited declining profits, noting that "stakes are large." But they said it was not the role of courts to rewrite the 1998 law, "no matter how damaging" the practice of swapping has become to the music industry or threatens to become to the motion picture and software industries.

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NPR Distribution Implements New Scheduling Software

Washington - Dec 22, 2003 - On Oct. 30, 2003, NPR Distribution transitioned to a new scheduling system, Scheduall and Schedulink, to replace its previous homegrown scheduling system. While many of the changes will be internal to NPR distribution, the greater efficiency of the new system is designed to improve the quality of the services the groups provides to its customers. The Scheduall system was chosen because of its scheduling capabilities for live program streams in the NPR Content Depot.

Spacewise Takes New Name

Phoenix - Dec 24, 2003 - After nearly nine years as Spacewise Broadcast Furniture, the company has decided to rename itself to better identify its place in filling needs of furniture systems for markets extending beyond broadcast radio. The company has expanded to include offerings for television production control rooms, video editing furniture and recording industry studios.

The company's new name -- Spacewise Studio Furniture -- allows Spacewise to market into all the above markets. The new name identifies and highlights specifically what it does.

The company's contact info remains the same:

phone 480-704-9385
fax 480-704-6149

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Cody Joins FCC Chairman Powell's Staff as Media Advisor

Washington - Dec 19, 2003 - FCC Chairman Michael Powell has appointed Jon Cody as his legal advisor to handle media and broadband issues. Since coming to the FCC in 2001, Cody has been an attorney-advisor in the Office of Strategic Planning, serving as a special policy advisor to the chairman.

Previously, Cody was an associate at the law firm Mintz Levin Cohen Ferris Glovsky & Popeo in Washington, DC. He earned his J.D. from the Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law, and his B.A. from Alfred University.

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Internet Watch

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Nullsoft Releases Winamp 5.0

San Francisco - Dec 19, 2003 - The popular audio and video file player Winamp has received an upgrade. Two versions are available, a Winamp Free and Winamp Pro. More info is available at the Winamp site at

IBOC Receivers to Debut at 2004 International CES

Columbia, MD - Dec 22, 2003 - Ibiquity Digital and its major industry partners including Texas Instruments, Phillips, Kenwood, JVC and Panasonic, will introduce the first commercially available IBOC radio receivers during the 2004 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2004). Ibiquity's branded IBOC technology, called HD Radio, will also introduce of a number of new services designed to transform the radio broadcasting industry for the digital era. These services include interactive features supporting the on-demand delivery of audio and data programming, automated store-and-recall capabilities and NPR’s Tomorrow Radio project, a Supplemental Audio Programming (SAP) service that will allow two programs to be broadcast on the same channel.

During CES 2004, manufacturers such Alpine, Delphi, Fujitsu/Eclipse, Harman Kardon, JVC, Kenwood, Onkyo, Panasonic, Sanyo and Visteon will showcase a variety of IBOC receivers, some of which will be commercially available in 2004. Simultaneously, the first IBOC tuner, a Kenwood KTC-HR100, will hit store shelves with stations in more than 100 markets.

The formal event will take place at CES 2004, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2004, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ibiquity Digital booth, #4619

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