WASHINGTON, August 1, 2023—The Federal Communications Commission has adopted a
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that seeks to give digital FM and Low Power FM
stations more flexibility to increase digital power levels. This would encourage more FM
broadcasters to adopt digital technology and would make digital broadcasts available to a
greater number of listeners.
Broadcasters and consumers increasingly prefer digital FM radio because it delivers better
sound quality than traditional analog FM service. Currently, over 2,000 FM stations broadcast
digitally, providing listeners with enhanced sound quality, song information, and other data
through their FM broadcast radio signals. The NPRM seeks comment on two proposals and
asks whether these changes will benefit the public or impact existing FM services.
Specifically, the NPRM proposes to change the way an FM station can determine its maximum
permissible digital power level, thus expanding the number of stations that can broadcast at
higher digital power levels. Additionally, it proposes to allow FM stations to operate their
digital sidebands at different power levels in order to give broadcasters greater flexibility to
maximize power while avoiding interference. These proposed actions would offer more
efficient FM digital operation, increase digital signal coverage and provide a more robust
digital signal for reception inside buildings.
Action by the Commission July 31, 2023, by Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC
MB Docket No. 22-405
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official