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Struble Optimistic for FM IBOC Power Increase Compromise

‘The 6 dB interim increase seems to us to be a good basis for that compromise.’

As we reported last week, NPR has told the Federal Communications Commission it’s now okay with a 6 dB interim increase for FM IBOC power so long as certain safeguards are also approved along with a beefed up interference mediation process.

iBiquity and the so-called Joint Parties had previously suggested 6 dB was a good interim step. Now, the technology developer sounds pleased with the latest developments on the power increase issue.

iBiquity’s President/CEO Bob Struble tells Radio World: “We are working hard with all industry parties on a compromise and remain hopeful we will get there. As we recommended to the FCC, the 6 dB interim increase seems to us to be a good basis for that compromise.”

Several sources have said 6 dB is the minimum power level needed for the digital to replicate analog coverage and to achieve reliable mobile digital reception, especially in a moving vehicle.

At the NAB Radio Show, iBiquity endorsed NPR’s suggestions that the FCC approve expedited deployment of asymmetrical power and single-frequency network digital boosters, solutions NPR thinks of as alternatives to a power increase that would also increase a station’s digital coverage area, particularly for congested markets.

Struble says, “We think that asymmetrical sideband transmission is a useful capability and have been working on it for awhile.”

At the NAB Radio Show in Philly it was apparent that all parties had been talking in trying to reach a compromise on the power issue; the agency had urged the industry to come together on a recommendation.