Digital Radio Technology

In 2002, the FCC selected in-band, on-channel (IBOC) technology as the technology AM and FM broadcasters use for digital radio broadcasting. Broadcasters have begun IBOC transmission on an interim basis while formal transmission standards are developed.

Transition to digital radio requires broadcasters to install new equipment. During the transition, broadcasters will operate in a "hybrid" mode, broadcasting the same programming using both analog and digital signals within a single AM or FM channel. Many FM broadcasters now offer two or more digital channels.

The new digital technology will not require allocation of additional radio spectrum and will have minimal impact on present broadcast services. Consumers will continue to receive their current analog stations with minimal disruption.

Although the FCC has moved a step closer to bringing digital radio to you, at this time radio broadcasters are not required to convert to "all-digital" broadcasting.


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