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FCC Invites Input on FM Booster Proposal

Geo Broadcasting claims its tech mitigates interference, while allowing program insertion

The FCC has invited public comments on a proposal by Geo Broadcasting Solutions to use FM boosters as program originators that are separate from the main channel operation.

Unlike translators, boosters operate on the same frequency as the main channel. They are used to help broadcasters “boost” their signal within their coverage contour. However, boosters are prone to causing multipath interference, which is why they’re tricky to use.

In its petition for rulemaking, Geo Broadcasting says it holds patents on technology that would enable the booster to avoid causing interference both to the main channel and to other boosters; the technology also allows licensees to insert different, hyperlocal programming on each booster.

Testing in Utah and Florida has been successful, according to Geo, which is asking the commission to authorize program origination on FM boosters as a routine matter.

Comments on RM 11659 are due May 23.

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