Here are the nuts and bolts of the Broadcast Maximization Committee’s proposal to use old TV spectrum for a migration of AM stations.
Under the BMC plan, AMs could transition to the Channel 5/6 spectrum (100 channels 77.0 to 86.9 MHz) and operate in the digital mode. In this way, AMs “can solve the current digital problems they are experiencing, especially at night,” the group states in its proposal.
BMC is proposing to:
- Extend the FM band to include frequencies 76.1 to 87.7 MHz FM Expanded Band (EXB) with a 100 kHz channel spacing, creating 117 new channels.
- The first eight channels (87.0 to 87.7 MHz) would be reserved NCE channels since they are contiguous to the current NCE band.
- The next 100 channels (77.0 to 86.9 MHz) would be used to migrate AM stations to the proposed FM new EXB band channels, where they would operate in digital mode.
- One channel on 76.9 MHz would be set aside for NOAA DHS use nationwide.
- The last eight channels (76.1 to 76.8 MHz) would be for LPFM use.
- The vacated AM band (540 to 1700 kHz) would open up for multiple uses, including improved AM broadcast service or other use.
While the policies, standards and priorities for an AM migration would need to be developed, BMC has offered a technical plan to show that its proposal is possible and to encourage further discussions.
“Above all, AM stations can become competitive, financially viable and immediately have some hope for better days.”