Industry News

FCC Adopts FM Booster Program

The FCC adopts changes to its rules that will allow FM booster stations to originate programming, subject to future adoption of processing, licensing, and service rules as proposed in the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The Commission notes that “FM boosters currently serve the limited purpose of rebroadcasting primary FM (or LPFM) stations in areas of poor reception. GeoBroadcast Solutions, LLC has developed technology that is designed to allow licensees of primary FM broadcast stations toim originate content using FM boosters and is intended to do so without raising the potential for harmful co-channel interference to the reception of the primary station’s signal outside the coverage area of the booster station or to previously authorized secondary stations.” GBS filed a petition on March 13, 2020,  proposing to give FM broadcasters the option to use boosters to originate programming to specific zones within their stations’ service area, proposing to allow program origination for a limited period totaling three minutes per hour… During that limited period, GBS proposes that the FCC allow the booster to originate geo-targeted advertisements, promotions for upcoming programs, and other hyper-localized content, suggesting it would benefit small and minority-owned broadcasters, because potential advertisers that currently find it prohibitively expensive to buy spots reaching a radio station’s whole service area might purchase lower-cost airtime reaching a more targeted area, thereby becoming a new source of station revenue.”