It’s not exactly clear when the new final IBOC rules take effect; details are not expected for a few days after Thursday’s FCC vote, which was first reported here. The rules will become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
But the exact timing is a formality; HD Radio proponents see the vote as a big win in their ongoing efforts to secure adoption by the industry. Ibiquity head Robert Struble thinks the vote will allow automakers, broadcasters, receiver manufacturers and retailers to move more freely; he expects a “surge of activity.” All five commissioners called the digital radio vote historic.
IBOC remains optional for U.S. broadcasters; the digital conversion is not mandated.
Even though the majority of the IBOC rules are “final,” the commission left open the question of whether multicasts might at some point carry additional public interest obligations. The agency also invited public comment on “appropriate limits” to the amount of subscription services stations could offer.