Washington, D.C. (September 19, 2013): The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) commends Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn for her outstanding efforts to revitalize of AM radio.
Yesterday, Chairwoman Clyburn circulated a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with six concrete measures to ease regulatory burdens on AM broadcasters:
- Opening a one-time filing window, limited to current AM licensees and permittees, to allow each to apply for one new FM translator station to fill in its service area
- Relaxing the AM daytime community coverage rule to allow existing AM broadcasters more flexibility to propose antenna site changes
- Relaxing the AM nighttime community coverage standards to provide broadcasters with relief for towers and directional arrays
- Eliminating the rule that requires an AM station to “ratchet back” its nighttime signal to reduce interference to certain other AM stations, which has discouraged service improvements
- Permitting wider implementation of Modulation Dependent Carrier Level control technologies, to allow broadcasters to reduce power consumption
- Modifying AM antenna efficiency standards by reducing minimum effective field strength values by approximately 25 percent, to allow the use of shorter AM antennas
In 2009, MMTC offered proposals along the lines of items 3 and 6, in addition to 15 other proposals to revise and delete obsolete and ineffective engineering rules. Today, noting that 2/3 of minority owned stations are AMs, MMTC President David Honig declared that “AM radio is vital to public service, public safety, minority entrepreneurship, and democracy. The overhaul of the AM radio rules will promote diversity and competition, ease the path of entry for minorities, and help remedy many of the present effects of past discrimination. The Chairwoman’s initiative is a major step forward in ensuring the sustainability of this essential service.”
* * * * *
The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving equal opportunity and civil rights in the mass media, telecommunications and broadband industries, and closing the digital divide. MMTC is generally recognized as the nation’s leading advocate for minority advancement in communications.