This commentary was sent to Radio World by the Broadcast Maximization Committee.
Broadcast Maximization Committee would like to respond to and clarify a couple
of points raised in the recent Ben Downs interview (“AM Needs Technological
Help,” Sept. 12), with respect to BMC’s Channels 5 and 6 expanded band (“EXB”) proposal.
subject of using TV Channels 5 and 6 for radio broadcast is being actively
discussed in broadcast circles and was raised in a panel on “The State of Radio
Policy” at the fall Radio Show in Dallas in September.
the BMC would like to thank Mr. Downs for his recognition of the effort put forth
by the group to aid AM broadcasters in a re-energizing this service. It was
largely for this reason that the EXB plan was first conceptualized.
BMC proposal is the only viable plan that offers a long-range solution for all
AM stations. All other plans require licensees to make a significant investment
in their current facilities. The full BMC proposal can be found at www.broad.broadmax.org.
In the Radio World article, Mr. Downs expressed
concern that the proposal’s specification of digital-only transmission would
potentially have a negative impact on broadcasters’ decision to embrace the
proposal. In response to this concern, BMC would say the following.
it must be recognized that new receivers will be required to receive FM
broadcasts in the CH 5/6 spectrum.With
today’s technology, the question of whether the transmission mode is analog or
digital doesn’t change this reality.
and more importantly, with digital transmission it is possible to accommodate
all AM stations that wish to migrate to this new spectrum (using 100 kHz
channel spacing vs. the current analog 200 kHz separation requirement).
the BMC proposal does not require the involuntary relocation of the few
remaining TV stations that remain on CH 5/6 after the DTV repacking scheme is
original proposal did provide a substitute UHF channel for every current CH 5/6
full-service TV allotment, but it was also acknowledged that for those few CH 5/6
DTV stations that would desire to remain on their current channel, the proposed
EXB scheme could work around these facilities.
it should be noted that if the DTV repacking process places additional TV
stations in the CH 5/6 spectrum then the use of CH 5/6 for radio purposes may
no longer be viable. For this and other reasons, healthy dialogue and further
work are time-critical.
The Broadcast Maximization Committee is dedicated to
promoting the use of Channels 5 and 6 to accommodate low-power FM,
noncommercial and AM broadcasters.