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Martin: Digital Transition Is FCC Priority

Martin: Digital Transition Is FCC Priority

A top commission priority is trying to smooth the digital transition for the benefit of both industry and the public, said FCC Chairman Kevin Martin in his first appearance before NAB attendees in that role.
At “The FCC Chairman’s Breakfast,” sponsored by AG Edwards, Martin said that for both TV and radio, the agency is trying to clarify rules related to the transition, such as public interest rules.
Moderator Bonneville executive and NAB Joint Board Chairman Bruce Reese asked Martin about the “thousands” of FM translator and low-power FM applications pending at the agency, and whether AMs that have reduced power at night could apply for some of these translators to fill in their coverage areas.
The FCC is balancing the needs of competing applicants for the same spectrum, said Martin.
“All of these are opportunities for listeners to get information from one of these different sources. When you have competing demands for spectrum the commission has to prioritize them. Hopefully there will be a way to address it that balances all of those services,” he said.