Statement of REC Networks: FCC Digital Audio Broadcasting IBOC Decision

REC is deeply concerned about the full Commission's decision this week to proceed with the full implementation with the IBiquity in-band on-channel (IBOC) digital audio broadcasting (DAB) system. We are mainly concerned about information in the FCC press release that suggests that nighttime AM operation will be authorized. Not only will this create problems to the rural nighttime AM service in many areas of the country but it will give the NAB more leverage to push for FM translators to be used for AM stations, especially those that have now been obliterated by adjacent channel out of town stations with a digital signal. This will bring more translators on the air thus preventing the growth of the LPFM service. This also could lead to the increase in value of construction permits in the Great Translator Invasion.

We are pleased though that the FCC has not set a timetable for the elimination of analog AM and FM broadcasting and it appears that there may be some rulemaking that will protect the underlying analog signal.

Let's wait for the full Report and Order to be released before we can draw absolute conclusions.