[Federal Register Volume 60, Number 30 (Tuesday, February 14, 1995)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 8309-8311]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 95-2949]



47 CFR Part 2

[GEN Docket No. 90-357; FCC 95-17]

New Digital Audio Radio Services

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: By this action the Commission amends its rules regarding 
frequency allocation to allocate spectrum in the 2310-2360 MHz band for 
new satellite digital audio radio services (DARS). This action will 
bring about a new service, which will provide enhanced quality of 
reception and increased program diversity to all markets nationwide.

EFFECTIVE DATE: March 16, 1995.

Lynn L. Remly, Office of Engineering and Technology, at (202) 776-1623.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Report 
and Order in GEN Docket No. 90-357, adopted January 12, 1995 and 
released January 18, 1995. By this action, the Commission amends its 
Rules with regard to the establishment and regulation of new satellite 
digital audio radio services. The full text of this decision is 
available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in 
the FCC Dockets Reference Center (Room 239), 1919 M Street, N.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20554. The full text of this decision may also be 
purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, International 
Transcription Service, Inc., (202) 857-3800, 2100 M Street N.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20037.

Summary of Order

    1. In 1990, three parties requested the Commission to allocate 
spectrum or otherwise authorize the provision of digital audio radio 
services. On May 18, 1990, Satellite CD Radio, Inc. (SCDR) filed a 
Petition for Rule Making in which it requested spectrum to offer a 
compact disk quality digital audio radio [[Page 8310]] service to be 
delivered by satellites and complementary radio transmitters. On May 
22, 1990, Radio Satellite Corporation filed a Request for Authorization 
to build and operate an earth station that would provide DARS and other 
mobile satellite services over a system planned to be built by the 
American Mobile Satellite Corporation in the 1.6/2.4 GHz bands. 
Finally, on July 27, 1990, Strother Communications, Inc. filed a 
Petition for Rule Making requesting that the Commission allocate 
spectrum and adopt rules for terrestrial digital audio broadcasting 
    2. In August 1990, the Commission issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI), 
55 FR 34940 (August 27, 1990), soliciting information necessary to 
identify spectrum and develop technical rules and regulatory policies 
for DARS in the United States. In the NOI, we noted international 
interest in the development of digital sound broadcasting and expressed 
concern that the United States would be disadvantaged if it did not 
participate in this new technology. In a parallel effort, by a series 
of inquiries between 1989 and 1991, the Commission solicited comment on 
appropriate U.S. positions to be taken at the 1992 World Administrative 
Radio Conference (WARC-92). We sought comment on possible spectrum to 
be used for the provision of high-quality audio programming by the 
broadcasting satellite service (BSS Sound). Based on the inquiries, and 
in coordination with the National Telecommunications Information 
Administration (NTIA), the Commission supported a U.S. position seeking 
an allocation for satellite and complementary terrestrial DARS at 2310-
2360 MHz.
    3. At WARC-92, three different BSS (Sound) allocations were 
adopted. International Radio Regulation RR750B allocated the 2310-2360 
MHz band in the United States for digital audio satellite broadcasting 
(BSS Sound). This allocation, like those adopted for other areas of the 
world, was limited to audio broadcasting by digital modulation. In 
November 1992 the Commission released the Notice of Proposed Rule 
Making and Further Notice of Inquiry (NPRM), 57 FR 57049 (December 2, 
1992), in which we proposed to adopt the WARC-92 allocation of 2310-
2360 MHz for satellite DARS; proposed to accommodate aeronautical 
telemetry services now operating in the 2310-2390 MHz band at 2360-2390 
MHz; and solicited comment on regulatory and technical aspects of 
satellite DARS. Also in 1992, we accepted for comment SCDR's license 
application and invited competing applications. Digital Satellite 
Broadcasting Company, Primosphere Limited Partnership, and American 
Mobile Radio Corporation each submitted applications. As a result, 
there are currently four pending satellite DARS license applications.
    4. Further, two industry committees are presently considering DARS 
technical standards issues. The Electronics Industry Association (EIA) 
has formed a subcommittee to consider the development of standards for 
terrestrial and satellite DARS. Also, the National Radio Systems 
Committee (NRSC) has agreed to examine terrestrial DARS systems which 
would operate in the AM or FM broadcast bands, and EIA and NRSC are 
cooperating in testing such DARS technologies.
    5. Comments to the NPRM comprised a wide variety of parties. 
Proponents of the allocation, including potential DARS providers, 
equipment manufacturers, and potential users, state that there will be 
major benefits from satellite DARS. These parties argued generally that 
a satellite-delivered system will meet the needs of unserved and 
undeserved markets as well as provide enhanced quality of reception and 
increased audio program diversity. Further, they pointed out that a 
satellite DARS system that would provide enhanced quality of reception 
for all listeners is currently feasible. In addition, they asserted 
that the allocation would create economic opportunities in the United 
States for various segments of industry, especially manufactures of 
DARS-related equipment. Finally, proponents argued that a satellite 
DARS allocation will improve U.S. competitiveness in the world 
marketplace. Opponents, primarily existing broadcast entities, either 
rejected a satellite DARS allocation or recommended that an allocation 
not be until terrestrial DARS allocation options have been fully 
explored. Many of these commenters argued that satellite systems will 
adversely impact present AM/FM radio services by driving local stations 
out of business. This, they contended, will cause a loss of local 
service, which a satellite service by its nature cannot replace. This 
effect, these opponents argued, contravenes the intent of the 
Communications Act of 1934 that local needs be met by broadcast media. 
In addition, opponents argued that programming will become less, not 
more, diverse as a result of satellite DARS. Some commenters did not 
oppose a satellite DARS allocations, but recommended that the 
Commission allocate frequencies in the 1.4-1.5 GHz band in lieu of the 
proposed allocation.
    6. In the Report and Order the Commission allocates spectrum in the 
2310-2360 MHz band for new satellite DARS. This domestic allocation is 
in accordance with the international allocation made at WARC-92. We are 
making this allocation, rather than an alternative allocation in the 
1.4-1.5 GHz band, because it was strongly favored by commenters and 
because this band was allocated for BSS (Sound) at WARC-92. Satellite 
DARS will provide continuous radio service of compact disk quality on a 
nationwide or regional basis, including areas which are presently 
unserved or underserved. In addition, this new service will provide 
opportunities for domestic economic development and will improve U.S. 
competitiveness in the world marketplace by promoting rapid 
technological development in various areas, such as satellite 
communications and audio compression. Furthermore, we continue to 
support efforts to implement terrestrial DARS technology. We believe 
that existing radio broadcasters can and should have the opportunity to 
profit from new digital radio technologies, and we anticipate that 
technical advances will soon permit both AM and FM broadcasters to 
offer improved digital sounds. These innovations will also help promote 
the future viability of our terrestrial broadcasting system, which 
provides local news and public affairs programming. Finally, we note 
that we are deferring licensing and service rules for satellite DARS 
until a further proceeding.

Ordering Clauses

    Accordingly, it is ordered, that Part 2 of the Commission's Rules 
is amended as specified below, effective March 16, 1995. This action is 
taken pursuant to Sections 4(i), 7(a), 302, 303(c), 303(f), 303(g), and 
303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 
Sections 154(i), 157(a), 302, 303(c), 303(f), 303(g), and 303(r).

List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 2


Federal Communications Commission.
William F. Caton,
Acting Secretary.

Rule Changes

    Part 2 of Chapter I of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
is amended as follows: [[Page 8311]] 


    1. The authority citation for Part 2 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: Sec. 4, 302, 303, and 307 of the Communications Act 
of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. Sections 154, 154(i), 302, 303, 
303(r), and 307, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Section 2.106, the Table of Frequency Allocations is amended as 
    a. The entry for 2300-2450 MHz is removed and new entries for 2300-
2450 MHz are added in numerical order.
    b. International footnotes No. 743A is removed and Nos. 750B, 751A, 
and 751B are added in numerical order.
    c. United States (US) footnotes Nos. US327 and US328 are added in 
numerical order.
    The additions read as follows:

Sec. 2.106  Table of Frequency Allocations

                       International table                                    United States table                         FCC use designators           
                                                                       Government          Non-Government                                               
Region 1--allocation  Region 2--allocation  Region 3--allocation --------------------------------------------     Rule part(s)           Special-use    
         MHz                   MHz                   MHz             Allocation MHz        Allocation Mhz                                frequencies    
(1)                   (2).................  (3).................  (4).................  (5).................  (6).................  (7)                 
                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  
2300-2450, FIXED,     2300-2450, FIXED,     ....................  2300-2310,            2300-2310, Amateur,   Amateur (97)........                      
 MOBILE, Amateur,      MOBILE,                                     RADIOLOCATION,        US253.                                                         
 Radiolocation.        RADIOLOCATION,                              Fixed, Mobile,                                                                       
                       Amateur.                                    US253  G2.                                                                           
                                                                  2310-2360, Mobile,    2310-2360,            ....................  Digital Audio Radio 
                                                                   Radiolocation,        BROADCASTING-,                              Services           
                                                                   Fixed, US276  US327   SATELLITE, Mobile,                                             
                                                                    US328   G2  751B     US276  US327                                                   
                                                                   G120.                 US328  751B.                                                   
                                                                  2360-2390, MOBILE,    2360-2390 MOBILE                                                
                                                                   RADIOLOCATION,        US276.                                                         
                                                                   Fixed US276  G2                                                                      
                                                                  2390-2450             2390-2450 Amateur...  Amateur (97)........                      
664  751A  752......  664  750B  751  751B  ....................  664  752  G2........  664  752............                                            
                   *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  *                  

International Footnotes

* * * * *
    750B  Additional allocation: In the United States of America and 
India, the band 2310-2360 MHz is also allocated to the broadcasting-
satellite service (sound) and complementary terrestrial broadcasting 
service on a primary basis. Such use is limited to digital audio 
broadcasting and is subject to the provisions of Resolution 528.
* * * * *
    751A  In France, the use of the band 2310-2360 MHz by the 
aeronautical mobile service for telemetry has priority over other 
uses by the mobile service.
    751B  Space stations of the broadcasting-satellite service in 
the band 2310-2360 MHz operating in accordance with No. 750B that 
may affect services to which this band is allocated in other 
countries shall be coordinated and notified in accordance with 
Resolution 33. Complementary terrestrial broadcasting stations shall 
be subject to bilateral coordination with neighboring countries 
prior to their bringing into use.
* * * * *

United States (US) Footnotes

* * * * *
    US327  The band 2310-2360 MHz is allocated to the broadcasting-
satellite service (sound) and complementary terrestrial broadcasting 
service on a primary basis. Such use is limited to digital audio 
broadcasting and is subject to the provisions of Resolution 528.
    US328  In the band 2310-2360 MHz, the mobile and radiolocation 
services are allocated on a primary basis until 1 January 1997 or 
until a broadcasting-satellite (sound) service has been brought into 
use in such a manner as to affect or be affected by the mobile and 
radiolocation services in those service areas, whichever is later. 
The broadcasting-satellite (sound) service during implementation 
should also take cognizance of the expendable and reusable launch 
vehicle frequencies 2312.5, 2332.5, and 2352.5 MHz, to minimize the 
impact on this mobile service use to the extent possible.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 95-2949 Filed 2-13-95; 8:45 am]