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U.S. Radio’s New Technical Rules Take Effect April 18

FCC order aims to eliminate rule inconsistencies and drop outdated ones

Here is an update to a story we’ve been following for you: The updated technical rules for U.S. radio broadcasters take effect April 18.

As reported earlier, the Federal Communications Commission in February released a report and order with the goal of streamlining and eliminating rules that it found redundant, outdated or conflicting.

That order now has been published in the Federal Register, so the rules officially kick in April 18.

The changes are described more fully in the article “FCC Finalizes Changes to Tech Rules.” But briefly:

-The FCC removed the maximum rated transmitter power limit for AM stations.

-It eliminated an inconsistency between sections of the rules involving NCE FM community of license coverage.

-It updated signal strength contour overlap requirements for NCE FM Class D stations to harmonize with a less restrictive section of the rules that applies to other NCE FM classes.

It eliminated four obsolete provisions that require radio stations operating in the 76–100 MHz band to protect grandfathered common carrier services in Alaska.

-It tweaked the definition of “AM fill-in area” in one part of the rules to conform to a later definition, which states that the “coverage contour of an FM translator rebroadcasting an AM radio broadcast station as its primary station must be contained within the greater of either the 2 mV/m daytime contour of the AM station or a 25-mile (40 km) radius centered at the AM transmitter site.”

-And it adopted several changes that relate to coordination with Canada and Mexico.

-The FCC did NOT adopt a proposal to eliminate the requirement that applications proposing use of FM transmitting antennas within 60 meters of other FM or TV broadcast antennas must include a showing as to the expected effect.