NAB Pushes FM Chip Activation With FCC


Radio’s lobbying arm has found a way to get the FM Chip in front of the FCC Commissioners once again. This time it’s in a joint-filing with NPR. The FCC is seeking input on how to improve the Wireless Emergency Alert service, which notifies Americans, via text message, during times of emergency. The NAB says many times the alert tells residents to get in their car and turn on their radios for more information. The two organizations argue that one way to improve upon emergency notification is to have all FM Chips in cell phones activated.

The NAB says research shows that virtually all smartphones sold in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2015 were equipped with an FM tuner, although FM reception was disabled by phone manufacturers and wireless carriers in 63 percent of these devices. The NAB comments that when activated, this built-in feature provides Americans with convenient access to the comprehensive, ongoing news and information that local radio stations provide before, during, and after an emergency, that consumers would welcome in the remaining universe of smartphones.

The NAB argues that expanding the number of smartphones with activated FM chips would be a logical extension of the current practice, and make it even more convenient for Americans on-the-go to access local FM radio stations during an emergency. “This would serve the public interest in public safety, providing more Americans direct mobile access to emergency information about an emergency from a trusted local source. Doing so would also fulfill the goals of both alert originators and the Commission for enhancing the WEA system.”

Read the entire filing HERE


  1. FYI- Apple, if not in the next iPhone release, the one after, is going to eliminate the headphone jack. This will render NextRadio completely useless.

    Radio needs to figure something else out besides this lost cause.


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