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NAB ‘Encouraged’ Most Public Comments Seem to Support Finalizing IBOC Rules

NAB 'Encouraged' Most Public Comments Seem to Support Finalizing IBOC Rules

In reply comments to the FCC in the IBOC proceeding, NAB says it is “encouraged” that most of the commenters support the agency’s finalization of digital authorization rules to provide certainty for broadcasters and equipment manufacturers to continue to roll-out digital operations and receivers. Such certainty, NAB states, will also support continued development of digital services for listeners.
Yet the trade association isn’t saying IBOC is perfect.
“NAB remains mindful of the challenges of and potential trade-offs involved in converting the nation’s radio stations to hybrid digital operations, especially in the case of AM nighttime operation, which, because of the mercurial nature of nighttime propagation, will require careful monitoring and, in many cases, individual resolutions. But we remain steadfast in our belief that digital radio will be transformative of both the AM and FM services, in terms of greatly improved audio quality, robustness of reception and opportunities for new, innovative services.”
NAB predicts with digital AM, stations would see a resurgence of formats, audiences and new services. These benefits will justify efforts to deal with instances of interference and some trade-offs of secondary service,” states NAB.
NAB supports allowing stations flexibility to scale their digital signals to offer a high quality main stream and also upgrade or create innovative supplemental services.
The trade group urged the commission to reject efforts to impose content-based programming requirements on stations that choose to go digital and “to approve on a blanket basis new IBOC transmission techniques and apparatus that are cost-effective and thus will provide further incentive to initiate IBOC service.”