FCC Approves FM IBOC Power Increase

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Washington, DC - Jan 29, 2010 - The Federal Communications adopted an order that permits FM radio stations to voluntarily increase digital power levels up to ten percent of analog power levels and establishes interference mitigation and remediation procedures to promptly resolve complaints of interference to analog stations. These rule changes will substantially boost digital signal coverage while safeguarding analog reception against interference from higher power digital transmissions.

In June 2008, Ibiquity, 18 group owners of 1,200 radio stations and four major radio equipment manufacturers requested that the Commission increase digital power levels by 10dB, to ten percent of analog power levels. This is a chance from -20dBc to -10dBc.

The FCC order allows for the following:

  • Most FM stations can immediately increase digital power by 6dB to -14dBc
  • Limits power increases for stations currently licensed in excess of class maximums, i.e., super-powered stations, to protect analog radio service from interference
  • Establish application procedures for power increases up to 10dB
  • Establish interference remediation procedures that require the FCC's Media Bureau to resolve each bona fide dispute or impose tiered power reductions within 90 days
  • Reserves the right to revisit the issue of digital power levels if significant interference results to analog reception

    Read the FCC's order..
    Docket 99-325

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