HD Radio Rulemaking on August FCC Agenda

Posted on July 31st, 2023 by

At its August 3rd Open Meeting, the FCC will consider adopting a rulemaking addressing several HD radio issues.  A draft has been released and is available for public review.

The draft (and very likely the ultimately adopted 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 NPRM is also considering 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.