FCC Makes it Easier to Go Digital

FCC Makes it Easier to Go Digital
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AM and FM stations may now go digital without first applying for and receiving a Special Temporary Authority from the FCC. Under a new notification process, station personnel may simply write the commission a letter detailing the specifics of their digital operation within 10 days of beginning to transmit a digital signal to coincide with their analog signal.
Information the FCC needs to see in the notification letter includes: the date that interim operation began; a certification that the IBOC facilities conform to the Ibiquity hybrid specifications; contact information for an engineer the FCC may call in the event of an interference complaint; transmitter power output; if separate analog and digital transmitters are used, the power output for each unit and a certification that analog effective radiated power remains as authorized.
Information about RF exposure levels is also needed, as well as information about any power reduction in an AM station's primary digital carriers.
A sample notification letter is on the FCC's Website: www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/digital.
STAs already granted for IBOC operations are good for 6 months. The FCC is requiring stations granted such authority to convert to the notification procedure before their STA runs out.