NPR Updates Its IBOC Power Boost Calculator

It incorporates values based on the NPR/iBiquity compromise plan
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NPR Labs has updated its IBOC power calculator for all U.S. FMs.

The tool is meant to help stations estimate how high they can raise their FM digital power, potentially up to –10 dB, should the Federal Communications Commission approve a power boost. NPR stresses that the tool is only a guide, and encourages users to perform a detailed contour study before considering an IBOC power increase.

The new calculator replaces an interim version; the new calculator contains values based on NPR/iBiquity compromise plan, as proposed to the FCC on Nov. 5.

The calculator identifies the most critical first-adjacent stations related to a digital power increase; lists the allowable powers separately for a candidate's upper and lower sidebands; and identifies other stations that must protect the target station, if they transmit IBOC.

The updated calculator has a tabular format, presenting the station as a "candidate" and as a "protected" station. FMs that exceed their power class, the so-called "Super-power Class B stations" are flagged and not processed by the calculator. NPR anticipates the FCC will treat them separately under any final agency ruling on the IBOC power increase.

Related:
"IBOC Power Is Now in FCC's Court" (Dec. 2)

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