Digital-radio rules expected next month

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The Federal Communications Commission is expected to establish rules for
digital radio at its Oct. 10 meeting, according to Washington, D.C.,
sources.

The commission is slated to formally approve a widely predicted choice of
in-band, on-channel technology that allows stations to introduce digital
signals simultaneously and on the same frequencies as their analog signals.

The prevailing IBOC standard is controlled by iBiquity Digital Corp., a company in turn
owned by ABC, Clear Channel Worldwide, Viacom Inc., Harris Corp., Lucent
Technologies and Texas Instruments Inc.

Radio stations will be permitted to launch around-the-clock digital FM
broadcasts and daytime-only for AM.

So far, IBOC AM does not work at night because of "skywave," a near-vertical
wave that is created when radio signals from 50-kilowatt AM clear-channel radio
stations bounce off the stratosphere.

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