A group known as the Broadcast Maximization Committee, or BMC, made an interesting proposal to the FCC last month. They want to expand the FM radio band to encompass television channels 5 and 6 (the ordinary FM band is positioned between television channels 6 and 7). The goal for this would be to reduce interference. You can read their complete proposal here: TV Channel 5-6 Radio Proposal.
As part of the plan, most AM radio stations in the country would move to the expanded FM channels and broadcast in digital mode (presumably DRM+). The new band would be divided to allow for the former AM stations, low power stations, and other uses. The AM band, now free from overcrowding, could be used for fewer station or for some other purpose.
This is just a proposal and probably nothing will come of it. Some see it as competition to the 26MHz.us proposal, although I don’t see why the two couldn’t coexist. I’m unsure whether I think the BMC plan would be a good idea or whether it would create more problems than it solved.
Radio World has two good articles about the proposal:
2 comments on “An Expanded FM Band?”
I have another idea. Expand the fm band down to 76mhz as you propose but use it only for fm broadcasting. Use the spectrum 54 to 72mhz (tv ch 2-4) for digital broadcasting. I’m surprised that we dont already have fm radios that tune from 76 to 108 ready for tv channels 5 & 6 to be vacated as part of the dtv transition. Heck, 2-6 should never have been used for tv in the first place. Here in Chicago, analog 2 has their digital on 3. When I watch “60 Minutes” (the only program I watch on that stn) both dtv boxes (of diferent mfg) and my 1080p lcd tv screw up if there are any storms within 30 miles (50km). All the other stns have digital up in uhf. There have been times in the past when analog 2 which is 20 miles (32km) from my house has been completely obliterated by channel 2’s from hundreds of miles away in summer. Anyway, I like analog fm the way it is and it should be expanded down to 76mhz. Most stns on am should be moved to either 76-88 analog fm or 54-72 digital, their choice. The remaining stns on analog am should be 5kw to 50kw non directional full time. Also all am carriers should be synchronized to a common frequency standard such as gps. I recently retired from what is now AT&T and all telco central offices in N. America have gps receivers that supply a dead-accurate supply of 64khz and 1544khz for sycn of various digital devices in the c-o. Synchronization on the mw band would elminate the sub audible rumble when 2 or more stns come in at your qth. Anyway enuff for now.
William Hassig, Mount Prospect, Illinois.