This is one in a series in which Ibiquity Digital Corp. answers questions about how to implement in-band, on-channel digital audio broadcasting. Vice President of Broadcast Engineering Glynn Walden answers here. Past answers are posted at www.rwonline.com under the tab “IBOC DAB.”
Q: Why has the standards-setting body, the National Radio Systems Committee, endorsed AM IBOC for daytime only, and when will a decision be made about nighttime AM IBOC?
A: Ibiquity believes its IBOC system will greatly improve an AM station’s offering for both daytime and nighttime. The report issued in April by the NRSC concluded additional information was required for AM IBOC performance at night, before conclusions could be reached about nighttime service.
Impressed with AM IBOC daytime performance, the NRSC encouraged the FCC to move forward with AM IBOC for daytime service, while nighttime tests are planned and conducted. The NRSC elected to bring the benefits of AM IBOC to listeners now, while further tests are completed.
Throughout the summer, Ibiquity will conduct exhaustive studies and tests on the AM band. We anticipate AM IBOC nighttime performance information will be shared with the industry by early fall. Ibiquity’s goal is to secure industry endorsement of nighttime AM IBOC before the end of this year.
In order to allow for the introduction of IBOC broadcasts this fall, we (and many others in the radio broadcast and consumer electronics industries) have asked the FCC to issue a decision endorsing Ibiquity’s AM and FM IBOC system by September. Ibiquity is also requesting the commission to allow stations to commence digital broadcasts this fall, while the FCC works with the various industries to develop final IBOC rules.
Although initial AM operations would be limited to daytime service, we expect the FCC to authorize nighttime AM service before IBOC receivers are commercially available.
Ibiquity remains focused on ensuring AM IBOC is authorized for nighttime service. As we work to this end, we believe all broadcasters and listeners will best be served by a speedy introduction of IBOC digital broadcast services.
Radio World welcomes other points of view.