NAB applauds FCC for HD radio power increase

The National Association of Broadcasters is applauding the Federal Communications Commission for allowing HD radio stations to boost their power.

The FCC Jan. 29 approved an increase in the power of HD stations, measured in decibels (dB), to up to 10 percent of the power of analog stations, from the previous limit of 1 percent. Stations can automatically increase output to 6db and can upgrade to 10 dB if they file with the FCC.

HD station operators requested the increase in 2008, but the FCC had to be sure that the power upgrade wouldn’t interfere with analog stations.

“Broadcasters salute the FCC for taking this important step, which will allow free and local radio stations to better serve communities across America,” said NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton in a prepared statement.

The mention of “free and local radio stations” is an apparent reference to competition terrestrial radio stations are facing from increasingly popular satellite radio services, which charge a monthly fee and are not community-based.