My friend John Anderson wrote his dissertation on the complex policy machinations behind HD Radio becoming the digital radio standard, and now he has a book coming out telling the story. He knows more about the topic than just about anyone else. So when he says that the all-digital option for AM revitalization is very much on the table at the FCC, I listen.
Last Thursday I raced to read and understand the FCC’s notice of proposed rule making. I noted that the all-digital option was “notably absent from the FCC’s specific proposals,” even though it is mentioned amongst the ideas that have been suggested. John argues that we shouldn’t be too quick to interpret that the Commission is minimizing that option.
As someone who has exhaustively reviewed the policy record, John has learned that these little suggestions are often the seeds that grow into policy. “Policy studies necessitate close reading,” he counsels.
John reads that the FCC “acknowledges that an all-digital transition doesn’t fit the bill as a ‘concrete’ proposal ‘that can be implemented expeditiously’; rather, it is a ‘complex’ idea that ‘would require additional comment, research, and analysis.’” He argues “That’s all the green-light action that HD Radio proponents need to start the regulatory campaign toward an all-digital transition.”