IBiquity Seeks Interim FM IBOC Power Increase

HD Radio developer iBiquity Digital, hoping the Federal Communications Commission will approve an FM IBOC power increase quickly, is asking the agency to approve a 6 dB increase pending final approval of the proposed 10 dB hike.

A 6 dB increase is attainable for many FM stations using existing transmission equipment and can be accomplished relatively quickly, iBiquity wrote in a new filing, while an increase of less than 6 dB would provide “insignificant improvement” that would not address coverage concerns.

The deadline to file initial comments with the FCC about the proposed voluntary power increase was Monday.

Tests completed by Greater Media in Boston showed a 6 dB increase in digital power “provides FM broadcasters with a significant improvement in coverage that comes close to replicating analog coverage for mobile users,” iBiquity wrote.

The expected introduction of HD Radio portables this fall increases the urgency, says iBiquity, which argues that uncertainty surrounding a power increase has slowed the pace of station conversions. Also, automakers and receiver manufacturers have “expressed concern” about consumer reaction to digital products that may not benefit from the same coverage as analog receivers, adds the company.

A full 10 dB increase is still needed to “truly replicate analog coverage” especially for indoor listening, continues iBiquity, which, while helping NPR perform subsequent testing related to the power level issue, has urged the commission to approve an increase now. NPR has said it intends to have its power level tests completed and a report issued by the fall, but iBiquity, “as an active test participant,” said meeting that timetable is unlikely.
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I just submitted a "Reply to Comments" for FCC Docket #99-325 that debunks iBiquity's HD Radio portables claims - should appear tomorrow.
By PocketRadio on 7/7/2009
HD Radio should not be treated any more favorably than FM stereo. Yesterday (7/6/09) Bob Gonsett wrote the following in a CGC Communicator editorial entitled, 'Comparing HD Radio to FM Stereo:' "When FM stereo was introduced, it was an immediate hit with the public, yet stereo always had inferior coverage to monaural. The Commission told broadcasters on numerous occasions that stereo was an add-on, something extra that was never guaranteed to have the same coverage footprint as mono. "Over the years, receivers and receiving antennas improved to the point where stereo is taken for granted today. No power increase was ever invoked for the benefit of stereo. Put simply, iBiquity has not shown why HD Radio should be treated any more favorably today than stereo was throughout its rich history." What we need now is a 6 dB power DECREASE for HD to counter the interference that HD is already causing to adjacent channel stations, a decrease until NPR can give us a good handle on the true interference situation.
By Fred on 7/7/2009
Let's hope the FCC sees the need isn't there for a power increase. Certainly not at the expense of the analog signal.
By Edison on 7/7/2009
IBiquity hasn't proven that consumers what their digital radio. In addition, Struble has mentioned on several occasions that their digital radio system covers 90% of the U.S. So whats the need for a power increase? As far as low power portable HD radios - iBiquity has said for several years now that these are on verge of being produced and nothing materialized. Sony and other major players have all but abandoned iBiquity. It's time to let go of this pipe dream and move on.
By BS on 7/7/2009
I can't believe there's so many idiots that come to this site that have nothing better to do then slam this technology.
By Anonymous on 7/12/2009
When you've heard, "I Can't Get No, Satisfaction," in every format and receiver, doesn't it become a little over worked and tired? Improve the quality of the show, not the technical delivery.
By Anonymous on 7/12/2009
I agree, This technology is here to stay! Digital is making leaps in almost all forms of media. To resist it in radio is just dumb. The "old timers" either need to get the memo, or retire!
By Anonymous on 7/13/2009
Hey IBiquity! People are listening to music on their phones! Comcast is starting a WiFi rollout across the country. I'm listening to music on the internet as I write this. Who needs HD radio?
By Anonymous on 7/8/2009
Ibiquity is racing to have everything up and no public participation needed. How many times can you play the same tune, over and over, analog, digital HD, Internet, iPhones? Ever hear of saturation, to the point of dripping? Strange, when it's your, that's all you can see, let alone have the public even in the equation. We are the audience, . . . remember?
By Anonymous on 7/11/2009
The sooner the better! Its time to let these digital signals out!
By Anonymous on 7/11/2009

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