Thursday, March 22, 2007

HD Radio Rules established

March 22, 2007

According to Radio & Records, the FCC has approved the With a 5-0 vote, FCC commissioners approved regulations that allow broadcasters to begin HD multicasting without prior approval from the commission. In addition, AM stations, which are currently limited to daytime-only HD operation, will be allowed to go digital at night. The vote occurred at the commission's regularly scheduled monthly meeting on March 22.

The decision has been delayed since last summer, when commissioners debated whether to impose some of the same public interest obligations that apply to regular over-the-air stations to HD stations. No new public interest obligations were adopted as part of this vote.

Meanwhile, the NAB issued a statement from president and CEO David K. Rehr applauding FCC chairman Kevin Martin and the commission for "taking a significant step in advancing the already budding HD Radio technology."

"As HD Radio expands across America, we are hopeful the commission recognizes the unique role played by local radio and the considerable public service contributions voluntarily made by stations within their communities," Rehr added, addressing the previously stated public interest concerns.iBiquity Digital's president and CEO Bob Struble also weighed in on the FCC's decision. "iBiquity Digital commends the FCC for its decision today to authorize the use of two additional HD Radio services – multicasting and datacasting – and allow AM HD Radio stations to begin nighttime broadcasting. Today’s decision reinforces the Commission's support for the HD Radio system and provides automakers, broadcasters, receiver manufacturers and retailers with the certainty of formal adoption of critical HD Radio services. We anticipate this action will also prompt a surge of activity from companies in each of these industries as they look to capitalize on the continuing momentum of the HD Radio rollout."

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3/22/2007 07:26:00 PM

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