June 2010
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Move AM stations to channel 5 and 6

It might happen, at least according to Commissioner Clyburn, they aren’t saying no right away.  According to her prepared statement:

I believe it is time that we consider the fate of Channels 5 and 6 as they relate to current radio service. These channels have proven difficult for television broadcasting, and I have a hard time imagining that they would fare much better as additional spectrum for mobile broadband use. This spectrum is not well suited for digital transmissions. It certainly is possible that this spectrum could be used for LPFM, expanded NCE use, and AM broadcasters.

That would, indeed, be an interesting development, if it were allowed to happen.  Of course, there are quite a few hurdles to get over, even if it gets the FCC’s nod, which is a long shot to say the least.  There would likely be some type of congressional “input” into the matter, which could stall things for years if not forever, depending on which way the money flows and which one of our wonderful congressional representatives can be bought and sold.

  1. Getting new radios on the market with the expanded FM band (77 through 87 MHz) will take some time.  Thankfully, unlike HD radio, no licensing fees will be required.  Manufactures simply need to increase the frequency range down.  It might take several years, but it would happen eventually, as is the case with expanded AM band radios, which are universal now.
  2. Existing AM stations should be given the option to move, those that stay on the AM band will get the option to improve their facilities or go non-directional as the interference contours allow.
  3. Those that choose to abandon AM need to surrender their AM license before commencing broadcasting on FM, none of this expanded band crap where they were supposed to surrender licenses after five years and never did.
  4. Those that choose to abandon the AM band also will not be assured the same theoretical coverage areas they had on the AM band.
  5. AM migrants should not have to compete in an auction.

Indeed, if LPFMs get a boost in the process, all the better.  It might actually give radio the shot in the arm it needs, add a good deal of local competition and satisfy several needs.

Axiom


A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. An optimist sees the glass as half full. The engineer sees the glass as twice the size it needs to be.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
~1st amendment to the United States Constitution

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
~Benjamin Franklin

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
~Rudyard Kipling

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers
~Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, Article 19

...radio was discovered, and not invented, and that these frequencies and principles were always in existence long before man was aware of them. Therefore, no one owns them. They are there as free as sunlight, which is a higher frequency form of the same energy.
~Alan Weiner

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