Several years ago, Geo Broadcast Solutions filed a proposal to change the FCC’s booster regulations. Under the existing rules, boosters must broadcast the same content as the primary radio stations. The proposal sought to change the rules to allow stations to broadcast different content on their booster stations.
The proposal sparked considerable debate in the radio industry, with most radio stations opposing a change in the rules. The potential for interference and the cannibalizing of local advertising markets led most in the industry to strongly oppose the proposed change in regulations.
Last week, it appeared the FCC was poised to allow stations to broadcast separate content on their booster stations, at least on a limited basis. While the decision has not been released, Democratic Commissioner Geoffrey Starks and Republican Brendan Carr issued a joint statement.
“That is why we’d like to extend our thanks to the Chairwoman for moving this proceeding to an order so that broadcasters can implement this technology, to the extent they choose to do so. Without a doubt, geo-targeting presents a new way of thinking about FM. If radio entrepreneurs want to test new business models and deploy new technologies, the FCC’s rules shouldn’t stand in the way.”
Seeing a joint statement from Republican and Democratic Commissioners is a rare event. Equally rare is the issuance of a separate statement without releasing the underlying decision.
NYSBA filed with the FCC, noting considerable problems with the proposal. We eagerly await the release of the FCC’s decision.
You can see the joint statement of Commissioner Starks and Carr here.