FM Directional Antenna Rulemaking

Posted on November 30th, 2021 by

The FCC has published a notice of proposed rulemaking to allow FM broadcasters using directional antennas to verify the antennas’ directional patterns through use of computer modeling rather than the physical modeling and measurement required under current rules.

This NPRM will provide regulatory parity across all broadcast applicants and licensees.  Among the broadcast services (AM and FM radio and digital television), only FM radio specifically requires physical measurements for directional antennas, preventing manufacturers and broadcasters from relying on computer modeling to verify directional antenna patterns. The proposed rule changes would give FM and Low Power FM (LPFM) applicants the same flexibility currently afforded AM and DTV applicants in verifying directional antenna patterns, potentially offering significant cost savings when installing directional FM antennas without increasing the potential for interference.