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More Time Given to File Comments on FM HD

FCC extends comments and replies deadlines on asymmetric sideband transmission proposal.

The FCC extended the deadlines for the public to comment on the proposal to allow FM stations more routinely to raise HD Radio power levels unevenly. Right now, those stations need a waiver from FCC rules to operate with asymmetric, rather than symmetric, digital sideband power levels.

HD Radio proponents believe more FM stations would be able to raise their digital power, and employ advanced data capabilities of the technology, if they could do so unevenly to protect neighboring stations from potential interference.

Jonathan Hardis, a member of the NRSC who works for NIST, commented as an individual. He asked for the extension, pointing out that much of the comment filing time would occur over the holidays. He stated that would not give the public much time to share their thoughts about iBiquity Digital asymmetric lab test results submitted by NAB FASTROAD.

Seven filings representing a total of 10 broadcast groups, as well as the NAB, were filed by the original Dec. 19 deadline. Most were favorable; Hardis opposes allowing FM HD stations to routinely raise their digital power level unevenly, saying the FCC should instead develop “a complete technical standard” for IBOC.

Originally, comments to Docket 99-325 were due by Dec. 19 and replies by Jan. 3, 2012. Now, comments are due by Jan., 3 and replies by Jan. 24.