Satellite Radio and the HD Radio Requirement

Back when there was debate about the Sirius and XM satellite radio merger, various groups suggested potential conditions that might be made part of the deal. Some were discarded but others were agreed upon. For example, both companies made an open device pledge that will allow manufacturers to add features to their receivers.

One frequently suggested condition was a requirement that all new satellite radios be capable of receiving terrestrial HD Radio stations. The FCC didn’t make that part of the deal, although they are still requesting public comments on the idea. Now Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) has introduced the “Radio All Digital Channel Receiver Act”, which would make the FCC implement that HD Radio requirement.

Satellite Radio and Open Devices

When the FCC granted satellite radio licenses to Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio, one of their specific requirements was that the two license holders not be allowed to merge. Fast forward six years and now it looks as if the FCC will soon approve their merger. As part of FCC deliberations, many people and organizations are jumping in to try to add conditions to the merger.

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