Richard Hayes, Jr.

What About AM ?

There has been a lot of talk about putting FM receiver chips into cell phones.  Apparently, several phone manufacturers already include the chip for over-the-air FM reception and only need to activate it. Everyone is celebrating this FM milestone but….

Excuse me.  What about AM?  Are we no longer interested in radios which receive both AM and FM?  It worries me that AM stations are not loudly complaining about being thrown under the bus.  If AM reception is not included in cell phones, AM will irreparably suffer. Without distribution to the single, most ubiquitous entertainment device ever invented, AM is doomed.

It’s helpful that the FCC is embarking on a “revitalization of AM Radio” and it’s quite helpful that FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai is behind the AM rescue agenda but it’s all for nothing unless AM is included in the cell-phone reception deal.  If AM reception is tossed aside on cell phones, no AM revitalization plan will bring it back to life.

Do you want to revitalize AM radio?  Write to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai and let him know that plan to revitalize AM radio must include a rule that requires all over-the-air reception chips to be capable of both AM and FM reception.  The Comment period on this rulemaking proceeding is over but you can still write letters and Mr. Pai seems to be receptive.  You can send him an email by clicking on this link:

There are 4,727 AM radio stations trying to serve their communities.  4,727 radio stations will be left out of the game unless a law requires that cell phone “over-the-air reception chips” include reception for all AM stations as well as FM stations.

AM revitalization MUST require AM signal reception on cell phones.

I’m looking forward to reading the Comments in this rulemaking proceeding to see if this issue has been raised.  For the life of me, I can’t imagine that this issue was not addressed.







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