WASHINGTON, DC—The FCC has authorized AM radio stations to broadcast with an all-digital HD signal format—a change that Womble Bond Dickinson telecom attorney John Garziglia says may greatly benefit both AM stations and listeners with better audio fidelity reception.

Garziglia has written a new article for Radio Ink on the FCC’s authorization of voluntary all-digital AM radio operations. Womble Bond Dickinson telecom attorney Michael Bennet worked with Garziglia on editing the article.

Garziglia writes the FCC’s decision will give AM stations with much-needed flexibility.

“An AM station fortunate to have an associated FM translator will be able to continue to largely serve its analog radio audience on the translator, while providing a far superior listening experience to its HD radio audience with the AM all-digital signal,” he said. “With the FCC’s recent elimination of the program duplication rule, AM stations that arrange to simulcast with another AM station can continue serve both HD and analog audiences.”

A digital signal provides a much clearer, static-free listening experience. However, Garziglia notes that if an AM station doesn’t have a paired FM translator, going all-digital means losing the analog audience. Going all-digital also could require some stations to make expensive upgrades to their broadcast equipment needed to pass the FCC’s requirement for an all-digital signal.

Click here to read “AM Radio (NO STATIC AT ALL)” at Radio Ink

John Garziglia represents radio and television broadcasters, offering personalized assistance in all areas of communications and telecommunications law including transactional and contract negotiations for broadcast station mergers and acquisitions, the securing of financing, governmental auctions of new frequencies, license renewals, new stations applications, facility changes, facility upgrades, licensing, and compliance with FCC rules, regulations and policies.