FCC Releases AM Revitalization Order

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Mr. Jones
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FCC Releases AM Revitalization Order

Post by Mr. Jones » Fri Oct 23, 2015 7:35 pm

https://radioinsight.com/blog/headlines ... ion-order/

http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Release ... -142A1.pdf
The FCC has released the “AM Radio Revitalization Report and Order” with its plans to help AM stations stay relevant.

The order opens with a two-pronged plan to offer FM Translators to as many AM stations as possible. First in 2016 the agency will allow where an AM licensee or permittee to acquire and relocate one and only one authorized non-reserved band FM translator station up to 250 miles, and specify any rule-compliant non-reserved band frequency. Then in 2017 or later AM stations that do not file a modification application in 2016 will be able to participate in an auction for new translators with preference being given to Class C and D licenses.

Next is a modification of community coverage standards for existing AM stations which will be lowered to to require that the daytime 5 mV/m contour encompasses either 50 percent of the area, or 50 percent of the population of the principal community to be served. However the agency states that the Media Bureau should examine closely any request by a station to reduce community coverage during its first four years of licensed on-air operation, and grant it discretion to dismiss any such application absent a compelling reason warranting reduced nighttime service.

The order will also eliminate the “Rachet Rule” that “required a Class A or B AM broadcaster, seeking to make facility changes that modified its AM signal to demonstrate that the improvements will result in an overall reduction in the amount of skywave interference that it causes to certain other AM stations”. Wider implementation of modulation dependent carrier level control technologies and modifications of antenna efficiency standards will be made to help decrease noise and interference on the AM band.

On other proposals the agency seeks addition comments before moving forward. These include modifications to the protected contours of Class A stations, daytime protections to Class B, C, and D stations, expanding FM translators from a 25 mile radius of an AM to 40 miles, and requiring the surrender of one of the licenses by stations that had been granted a second signal in the expanded band. The FCC is also inquiring on the possibility of allowing additional stations in the expanded band (1605-1705) and relaxed main studio requirements.

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Re: FCC Releases AM Revitalization Order

Post by genlock » Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:45 am

Lipstick on a pig.
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Re: FCC Releases AM Revitalization Order

Post by Tom Taggart » Sun Oct 25, 2015 5:56 pm

Translators will suddenly become very valuable. See article at broadcastlawblog.com

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Re: FCC Releases AM Revitalization Order

Post by cgarison » Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:17 pm

genlock wrote:Lipstick on a pig.
In a lot of ways, I have to agree.

I guess my biggest question is how much has the concept of a "podcast" has eaten into the pockets of the nationally syndicated politically skewed broadcasters and will using FM translators expand the market or just add more overhead cost to a dying medium? If it were me trying to find a way to revitalize AM, I would look at ways to get more community oriented stations on the air and subsidize efforts to increase public access to the airwaves rather than repeating blather that half the population does not want to hear. But that is just my 2 cents. And people with deep pockets that influence legislators and bureaucratic rule makers are not interested in involving the public in coming up with way to increase interest in the AM band.
The first step in a successful revolution is to defeat all competing revolutionaries.

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Re: FCC Releases AM Revitalization Order

Post by Tom Taggart » Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:26 pm

Advertisers don't care about "community oriented" programming. Advertisers want raw numbers in their desired demographics.

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Re: FCC Releases AM Revitalization Order

Post by cgarison » Sat Oct 31, 2015 11:01 pm

And that in turn lies the problem because a very high percentage of the items that I regularly consume are supported directly by the listeners. Yes, I pay money to be a "producer" of a podcast and from time to time generate some of the content that goes into the show. In other cases, I simply give money to the show via Patreon. In either case, I am not the product being sold or marketed. For AM revitalization to work, the federal government will have to create an expansion of NPR that features locally generated content that is of importance to the local markets being served by the AM sticks. SImply taking political/sports crap spewed on AM transmitters and repeating it on FM sticks will do nothing for AM except make it even more obsolete and put it in the position of being retired more quickly so the spectrum can be re-used for some sort of wireless broadband communication. Honestly, the "ultra local" AM radio concept is going to be the only way that we will be able to keep these frequencies alive.

:roll: [yes, that rolling eye emoji is a very bad sign of smartassery to come]

Although, with the number of $79 Android tablets that I saw being purchased at the new RuralKing in Cannonsburg, KY last week, perhaps the folks in the "rural" parts of America are more sophisticated than I am giving them credit and they want their local farm report as an on-demand podcast instead of having Ken Franks come on the air at 6:30 am on Saturday morning to get their needed updates. I know that the death of TechTV changed me to be an on-demand listener of podcasts, so why wouldn't the rural folk want the same convenience as tech nerd like me. So let's hasten the demise of the AM spectrum and re-allocate those frequencies to transmit high speed data so we all can do away with our radios and use our phones as the device to snatch on demand audio ranging from the latest honky tonk hits, the top tractor news, and of course the weekly farm reports. Who has the time to worry about a broadcast schedule as it is when you are busy milking the cows, slopping the hogs, mowing the hay field, and courting your lovely significant other to increase the number of unpaid laborers around the acreage. :twisted: Get those farmers any more sophisticated and they will have drones flying over their herds instead of riding out to the back forty to see how the live stock is doing. It is not that far off considering in the midwest we have GPS guided automated farm machines working the fields while the farmer sets at the controls so the emrgency stop button can be pushed if something goes wrong. And we are going to need more frequency expansion if we want more automated farm equipment for increased food production as well as the growth of renewable fuels. Yep, this kick in the sides of AM while it is on its way down might just be the action that we need.

OK, I am in on AM Revitalization Order. I will even double down if it will lower the amount of my my monthly budget that allocate to Verizon expenditures each month, but that is another thread.
The first step in a successful revolution is to defeat all competing revolutionaries.

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