FCC proposes to revitalize AM radio service

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a number of possible technical improvements to AM (amplitude modulation) radio services, as well as changes to its rules applicable to AM radio broadcasting.

In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued in October 2013, the Commission has requested comment on possible changes in the following areas:

  • Providing AM licensees and permittees with an exclusive opportunity to file for an FM translator radio license
  • Modifying daytime and nighttime community coverage standards for existing AM stations
  • Eliminating the FCC’s so-called “ratchet rule,” which restricts the amount of skywave interference that certain AM broadcasters may create
  • Permitting wider implementation of modulation-dependent carrier-level control technologies
  • Modifying current AM antenna efficiency standards

The Commission notes that the proposed changes to its current regulation of the AM radio service will enable AM broadcasters to better serve the public, thereby advancing the Commission’s goals of competition and diversity in broadcasting.

Comments on the proposed changes are due to the FCC by the end of December 2013.

Read the complete text of the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the revitalization of AM radio.