Comment Dates Set for HD Radio Rulemaking

Posted on August 30th, 2023 by

The FCC has adopted a proposed rulemaking addressing several HD radio issues, including power increases.  The rulemaking has been released and published in the federal register, with comments now due September 21, 2023 and reply comments October 6, 2023.

The rulemaking seeks comment and input on whether to (1) change the methodology used by digital FM stations to determine if they are eligible to increase digital FM power up to -10 dBc, or 10% of analog power; (2) allow such power increases without the need for additional individual special authorization, but upon basic notification to the Commission; and (3) allow digital FM stations to notify the Commission of a power increase up to -10 dBc, using the same notification procedures as currently used for digital operation.

Finally, the FCC also wants comment on whether to grant blanket authorization to digital FM stations to originate digital transmissions at different power levels on the upper and lower digital sidebands without having to request experimental authorization, but instead by filing a notification with the Commission and whether an FM station increasing digital power or implementing asymmetric sideband operation should be required to directly notify first-adjacent channel FM stations of these actions.

The rulemaking also considers interference issues, including whether the existing FCC interference mitigation and remediation procedures are sufficient to manage any reports of inter-station interference as a result of increased digital FM power or asymmetric sideband operation.