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Compromise Report on FM IBOC Power Increase Premature?

IBiquity, NPR continue to talk about 6 dB, for now

This is an update to an earlier report of a compromise that appeared in RW Newsbytes.

Apparently there is not a compromise on IBOC power, at least yet, between NPR and iBiquity.

They continue to talk about compromise over how much of a power increase the industry should lobby the Federal Communications Commission to approve. But despite a strong tone during today’s NAB Radio Show session suggesting that agreement had been reached, and despite comments from several sources after the event that there seemed to be an agreement, in fact NPR officials say there is not yet.

While both want an increase, the public radio organization and the technology developer have differed on how much of a boost could be okayed without negatively affecting radio stations’ analog signals.

While a 6 dB increase (to –14 dB digital power) has been suggested by iBiquity, NPR has not agreed on a specific figure, its officials emphasize.

There has been a great deal of private and informal discussion over the contentious topic leading up to, and during, this week’s convention and related engineering sessions and public radio engineering meetings. Some of the tone of the debate has been rancorous.

Meantime the FCC staff sounds ready to move on the issue. Audio Division Chief Peter Doyle said his staff will provide options to new Media Bureau Chairman Bill Lake for the chairman in the next couple of weeks.

Transmission manufacturers who spoke at the session said the power increase is critical to keep the HD Radio rollout from stalling out.