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Brazil’s AM Phase-Out Proceeds Slowly

Broadcasters are concerned, ask has progress stalled after 17 months?

S�O PAULO, Brazil� In December 2013, the Brazilian government decided to phase out the low-power AM stations and to enable medium and high power AM stations to migrate to FM. They elected to go this route over digital, and some broadcasters are now questioning the decision two years later, according to the DRM Consortium.

In 2014, about 80 percent of the total AM broadcasters enrolled in the phase-out program, which will require expanding the FM spectrum (79 to 88 MHZ) to utilize the band currently occupied by analog TV. Brazil will be the first country to test this method.

After 17 months, eight of the registered stations, located in the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte, have met the technical requirements for migration. However, the government has not yet set a price for the new FM licenses.

Brazilian public broadcaster EBC has five AM stations and has indicated that it does not want to migrate them and is concerned about the progress, the DRM Consortium reports on its website.