Feds studying need for receiver standards

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The Federal Communications Commission will study whether televisions,
radios and other devices that rely on radio-frequency receivers should be
required to tolerate specific levels of interference.

Receiver-performance standards were suggested as a good way to go in an FCC spectrum-policy report issued this winter.

Predictable receiver performance would allow the government to use spectrum more efficiently because unused spectrum available for new -- especially digital -- uses could be pinpointed.

In addition to set receiver standards, the FCC is examining whether performance incentives are necessary or whether interference guidelines would be sufficient.

The details of the study were made available in a notice of inquiry issued Monday. An inquiry is the first step toward a formal rulemaking. Issues to be studied:

\u0007 Interference performance of existing receivers;

\u0007 Possibilities for improving levels of receiver immunity from interference;

\u0007 Potential positive and negative impacts of receiver standards on innovation and the marketplace; and

\u0007 Possible approaches for improving receiver performance,
including incentives, voluntary industry standards, mandatory standards, or a
combination of these or other approaches.