Coming right up: FCC July Open Meeting


The FCC will likely provide a status report on the DTV transition which was executed with much but not universal success 6/12/09, will look at a proposal to put some AMs on the FM band, and will unveil a new Chairman, thanks to the Senate’s timely confirmation of Julius Genachowski, along with returning veteran Robert McDowell.

The TV update is not part of the current agenda, but Acting Commissioner Michael Copps promised earlier this month that part of the July meeting would be devoted to a temperature taking of DTV.

Of great interest to radio operators will be the second item on the agenda: Amendment of Service and Eligibility Rules for FM Broadcast Stations (MB Docket No. 07-172. In summary, the FCC wrote, “The Commission will consider a Report and Order concerning changes in the FM translator rules to allow AM broadcast stations to rebroadcast their signals on eligible FM translator stations.”

The other items concern medical body area networks and wireless operation several magnitudes further up the spectrum than FM radio.

RBR/TVBR observation: While an official DTV update will be welcome, the FM translator plank could be contentious. The FCC has been doing everything it can to promote LPFM, testifying before Congress recently that more stations should be licensed. That will put wannabe LPFM licensees in direct competition with AM stations seeking the same FM frequencies to use for signal fill-in purposes.