Last year, the FCC solicited comments on a proposal to increase the maximum allowed digital power of an IBOC station from 1% of analog power to 10%. NPR has returned with some concerns and a promise to present a study this September which will show how much IBOC power can be used without causing undue interference.
In connection with this proceeding, the FCC is asking four questions:
1. Whether the Bureau should defer consideration of the Joint Parties’ requested power increase until the completion of and comment on the further NPR studies?
2. Whether the record in this proceeding, the real-world experience gained from over 1,400 FM stations operating for several years in the hybrid mode and the record of experimental authorizations at higher digital power levels warrant an increase in maximum digital operating power as proposed by the Joint Parties or support a provisional power increase of some lesser extent than that requested by the Joint Parties?
3. If the Commission does adopt a power increase, whether it should also establish standards to ensure the lack of interference to the analog signals of stations operating on first adjacent channels? Should such standards apply to, i.e., require the protection of, LPFM stations operating on first adjacent channels?
4. Finally, if the Commission does adopt a power increase, whether it should also establish more explicit procedures to resolve digital-into-analog interference complaints?
See this Public Notice. Comments are due within 21 days of publication in the Federal Register, which probably means about 50 days from yesterday.