Washington - May 17, 2010 - When the Federal Communications Commission adopted its rules to allow FM stations to increase their digital IBOC power, it included details about how much power could be used and what steps must be taken to mitigate interference issues. That order went into effect on May 10, 2010 (MM Docket No. 99-325). But for a station to implement increased power, it must follow certain steps.
The FCC has issued a guide to answer questions FM stations may have when increasing power to -14dBc or higher and for licensing auxiliary antennas. The full notice is available online at hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-10-866A1.pdf.
For a power increase up to -14dBc, the FCC must be notified in writing because the new electronic form for e-filing digital notifications (Form 335) in the CDBS has not yet been approved. Until then, FM licensees can notify the Commission within 10 days of operating at the higher power level. The notice provides the details on the required information.
Once Form 335 is approved, stations must file electronically.
For stations increasing power above -14dBc and for super-powered stations increasing above -20dBc, requests must be filed in the CDBS. Those stations should use the Engineering STA form.
For stations using auxiliary antennas to transmit digital signals, if the digital ERP permitted by the order would exceed the licensed analog ERP of the auxiliary antenna, the licensee must file an application for construction permit (Form 301 or 340) to increase power and file a covering license application (Form 302-FM) prior to commencing operations at the higher power level.