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IBiquity Supports Translator Move Proposal

So-called “Tell City” waiver could help AMs now, says tech developer

Ibiquity Digital supports allowing FM translators to move farther than they can now when used by an AM station.

In a letter to the FCC, iBiquity SVP/General Counsel Al Shuldiner says the so-called “Tell City” waiver request would provide more flexibility for AMs that want to use an FM translator, providing an immediate fix for AM stations.

More than 260 AM stations have converted to HD, and while FMs get the most notice, iBiquity’s AM system offers benefits for broadcasters as well, he writes.

“The digital signal allows AM broadcasters to offer FM-quality sound and eliminates many of the impairments associated with analog AM,” writes Shuldiner. “Moreover, the HD Radio all-digital mode of operation will eliminate the overlap between adjacent channel AM signals, thereby eliminating one of the biggest sources of impairments AM broadcasters confront.”

The current economic challenges confronting AM owners have impeded their ability to make capital investments in their plants, specifically for HD Radio gear, he notes. Although iBiquity believes conversion to digital broadcasting offers the best long term prospect for AM broadcasters, iBiquity recognizes this transition will take many years, and AM broadcasters cannot wait that long.

The waiver is something that would offer AM owners immediate relief without requiring extensive restructuring of the commission’s regulations, he notes, urging commission approval of the waiver request for WTCJ(AM), Tell City, Ind.

We reported the waiver request was filed in November.