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NPR Seeks FM Modulator Recall; Says Problem Is ‘Widespread’

NPR Seeks FM Modulator Recall; Says Problem Is ‘Widespread’

As his counterpart at NAB did earlier, NPR CEO Ken Stern is calling for a recall of FM modulators that don’t meet FCC Part 15 emission rules, as reported by the Baltimore Sun.
In a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin obtained by RW Online, Stern said NPR’s findings about illegal FM modulators “are alarming” and the illegal devices “have contributed to … unacceptable degradation of the audio quality of public radio stations” nationwide.
Although NAB President/CEO David Rehr earlier focused on a recall of satellite radio FM modulators, NPR has cast a wider net, urging the agency to “conduct a through technical review” including MP3 players.
The Sun quotes an FCC official as saying he can’t comment on the letter other than to say the request is “under review.” A Consumer Electronics Association official termed the issue of FM modulator interference “a serious issue.”
RW reported earlier that in recent tests on two FM modulator frequencies in the Washington market, NPR Labs detected modulators being used in 99 vehicles; of those, it said, 40% were operating above legal part 15 emission levels.
Stern notes that its analysis supports an earlier study by NAB and documents that the issue “is a widespread problem.”