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When Can Stations Increase Digital Power?

At least officially, the 6 dB increase is pending government paperwork

Now that the FCC has ok’d an IBOC power hike, when can FMs increase their digital power?

According to the Federal Communications Commission order, the power increase becomes effective either 30 days after the rules are summarized in the Federal Register, or once the Office of Management and Budget has approved the new rules and that is published in the Federal Register. (Whether stations in reality will wait for that, knowing the hike has been approved, is another matter.)

Once the power increase rules go into effect, eligible FM stations may commence operation with FM digital operating power up to –14 dBc — that is, up to a 6 dB increase, or quadruple the current power. Stations must electronically notify the Media Bureau that they’ve raised their digital power within 10 days of doing so using a special form.

(As NPR and iBiquity had proposed, the FCC is requiring a licensee seeking to go beyond 6 dB to submit an application in the form of an informal request, and it laid out guidelines for those permissions in its order this week.)

The “Digital Notification” form is available in the Media Bureau’s Consolidated Database System Electronic Filing System. Eligible FM stations that want to raise their digital FM power before the order becomes effective can apply for a Special Temporary Authorization.