Two leading minority organizations are calling for the creation of a test pilot program before the FCC makes any decision about geo-targeting via FM boosters.
The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council and the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters made the recommendation to the Federal Communications Commission, which has been taking industry input about the geo-targeting concept proposed by technology company Geo-Broadcast Solutions.
Advocates of the GBS idea have cited potential benefits to minority broadcasters and businesses among its selling points; and MMTC and NABOB have been among those expressing support for the concept.
But the National Association of Broadcasters and several large radio groups expressed strong opposition in the recent comment period, saying that geo-targeting could have serious technical and financial implications for the FM business model.
Now Maurita Coley and David Honig, who are respectively president/CEO and president emeritus/senior advisor of MMTC, and James Winston, president/CEO of NABOB, have told the FCC, “The NPRM contains 103 questions. Fortunately, many of the 103 questions may be answerable with engineering and economic data that could be produced by a pilot test of the technology.”
They encouraged “the leading parties” to collaborate to design and execute a pilot with at least three markets: urban, suburban and rural.
“We recommend that the pilot be designed to address all of the questions raised in the comment round of this proceeding, including the impact of the technology on local advertising markets. We encourage the commission to help unite all parties in the quest for a universally beneficial result.”