USA Digital Radio Takes Historic Step
Columbia, Maryland, October 7, 1998 - USA Digital Radio, a partnership of CBS Corporation and Gannett Co. Inc., today announced the filing of a Petition for Rulemaking with the Federal Communications Commission seeking to permit digital radio broadcasting using In-Band On-Channel™ (IBOC™ ) technology. The petition starts the process towards acceptance of the USA Digital Radio IBOC™ system as the DAB transmission standard for the United States. The IBOC" technology being developed by USA Digital Radio offers the most comprehensive digital radio transmission solution in history, and represents the most exciting change in broadcasting since radio's invention over 70 years ago.
"We believe the FCC will play a crucial role in this historical event as the radio industry converts from 70 years of analog broadcasting to a digital age", said Michael Jordan, chief executive officer of CBS Corporation. "As a broadcaster, we are both excited and committed to this new and powerful digital transformation which will revolutionize the public's listening experience."
"This unprecedented filing is yet another indication of our leadership position in the evolution of digital radio, to offer exceptional audio quality and auxiliary services to the listener" said Robert J. Struble, president and chief executive officer of USA Digital Radio, "The establishment of a transmission standard for digital radio will foster a smooth transition for all key constituencies, and allow the entire radio industry including broadcasters, manufacturers, trade groups and the FCC to focus their resources on a single approach to digital broadcasting."
Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) is a digital method of transmitting virtual CD quality audio signals to radio receivers. In-Band On-Channel™ Digital Audio Broadcasting (IBOC DAB™) is a broadcasting technology that uses the current radio spectrum to transmit existing AM and FM analog simultaneously with new high-quality digital signals which eliminate multipath, noise, and reduce interference. This technology provides a unique opportunity for broadcasters and listeners to convert from analog to digital radio without service disruption while maintaining current dial positions of existing stations. Broadcasters will use their current AM and FM frequency assignments to transmit simultaneous analog and digital high-quality audio, in addition to expanded auxiliary services. Listeners who purchase digital radios will receive their favorite radio stations with superior sound quality free from multipath and noise, and with reduced interference. Additionally, listeners will have the capability to receive expanded auxiliary data services, such as station and program content, stock and news information, local traffic and weather, e-mail and internet access, and more.
Broadcast radio plays a critical role in everyday life, both in the United States and abroad. It is the primary source of information and entertainment for vast numbers of Americans, providing music, news, weather, traffic and local information in thousands of communities across the country. It is estimated that there are over 550 million radio receivers in use today in the United States, an average of 5.6 radios per household. Over 95% of all people over the age of 12 listen to the radio every week. As of August 31, 1998, there were more than 12,300 licensed radio stations. The average American listens to AM or FM radio more than 22 hours per week. The vast majority of Americans across the Country will be impacted in one form or another by digital radio broadcasting.
The USA Digital Radio partnership was established in 1991 by CBS Corporation, New York, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Gannett Co. Inc., Arlington, Virginia, to develop In-Band On-Channel™ Digital Audio Broadcasting (IBOC DAB™) technology for AM and FM radio. USA Digital Radio is committed to the establishment of a universal Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) technology. USA Digital Radio's development efforts are supported by several outside parties including Xetron Corporation, Cincinnati, Ohio, Fraunhofer Institut ffr Integrierte Schaltungen (IIS), Erlangen, Germany, and BittWare Research Systems, Concord, New Hampshire.
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