I don’t know enough about radio to evaluate this

The FCC has denied a request to allow AM radio stations to increase their power output.

The Federal Communications Commission has rejected the proposal, but we still think it’s an intriguing idea. Let AM radio stations across the United States boost their signal power by a factor of ten.

“The time to get the static out of AM radio is past due,” wrote Richard F. Arsenault of New Jersey to the Commission in April. “We have watched the AM service degrade due to the increase in interference for too long. We must return AM radio service to comparable and usable coverage levels of the past.”

Forget it, the agency responded. “We have determined that your proposal is not in the public interest because it would greatly increase the potential for interference between AM stations and would undermine the Commission’s efforts to improve the AM service,” the Commission’s Media Bureau wrote to Arsenault about six weeks later.

Maybe the FCC has a good reason for refusing this request.  But it’s more than clear how this administration feels about AM radio, so it’s hard to say, really.

One Response

  1. The FCC has a point. Increasing the power would cause serious interference with other communications and with smaller radio stations. It would also cause interference with foreign radio stations violating many treaties. The massive power at the towers would cause all sorts of RF problems.

    I’m a bit puzzled by this proposal since I don’t think it would have the effect the engineer thinks it would have. AM is crappy regardless of the power.

    My proposal is simpler. Get rid of AM entirely and expand the FM band (though I’d require that the new frequencies in the FM band broadcast only digital signals.

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