FCC Gives Digital Radio Stations More Power

The Federal Communications Commission’s Media Bureau adopted an order that will allow FM radio stations to increase digital broadcast power levels from 1 percent of analog power to up to 10 percent of analog power levels. The change, announced Friday (Jan. 29), will boost digital signal coverage.

Most FM stations will immediately be able to increase digital power by 6dB, a four-fold power increase. Stations can apply for digital power increases up to 10 dB.

The change was made at the request of iBiquity, the developer of digital radio broadcast technology and 18 radio owners representing 1,200 radio stations; and four major radio equipment manufacturers. Both iBiquity and National Public Radio submitted detailed studies assessing the potential for improved digital service.

As part of the order, the Media Bureau established procedures to resolve complaints of interference to analog stations.