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[Discuss-gnuradio] Is DAB a potential Antitrust issue?
[Discuss-gnuradio] Is DAB a potential Antitrust issue?
Thu, 21 Mar 2002 11:33:27 -0800
Current part 73 license holders are pissed off at the license fee
for the new radio Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) technology. Especially
since it goes to a competitor.
----- Original Message -----
To: address@hidden ; address@hidden ; address@hidden
Cc: address@hidden ; address@hidden
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 12:30 AM
Subject: [grc] Fireworks from Georgia on DAB
Is DAB a potential Antitrust issue?
Microsoft tried to take over the Operating System market.
Now we find with DAB that you will either pay a liscence fee (TO YOUR
COMPETITOR, CLEAR CHANNEL [operating under a pseudonym, iBiquity]) to use IBOC
because the FCC requires you use it OR you pay by losing audience reach to
planned intentional interference by your IBOC competitiors. Much like a Mob
Don't forget that in 1996, the NAB defended third and second adjacent full
Then in 1998, decried the same for 100 watt LPFMs because they alleged it would
harm stations ability to reach fringe listeners.
Then in 1999 they say those fringe listeners are worth trading off for the
alleged benefits of DAB !!
So are these fringe listeners worth keeping or not?
Remember, iBiquity is Lucent and USADR which is owned in part by Clear Channel!
See docket: 99-325:
12/21/99 from USADR (merged with Lucent to form iBiquity, current IBOC
Who is behind this IBOC-DAB plan?
"I. Background on USADR
In 1991 USADR conceived IBOC technology and since that time has been a pioneer
in the development of DAB for terrestrial radio. USADR is backed by a coalition
of interests including broadcasters, equipment manufacturers and research
centers in the United States and abroad. Twelve of the nations largest radio
braodcasters, including the ten largest, own USADR. Owners include ABC, AMFM,
CBS, Chase Capital Partners, Citidel Communications, Clear Channel, Cox Radio,
Cumulus Media, Emmis Communications, Entercom COmmunications, Gannett, Hispanic
Broadcasting, Radio One and Sinclair Broadcasting Group. USADR has assembled a
board of directors of prominent radio broadcasters, government regulatory and
emerging technology experts, including Mel Karmazin of CBS ... USADR owners
have coverage in 196 of the 270 Arbitron-rated markets, access to 200 million
listeners and combined revenues equating to 46% of the radio industry's total
The NAB which purports to protect broadcasters, has allowed itself to be
monopolized by Clear Channel etc.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Digital Audio Broadcasting Systems ) MM Docket No. 99-325
And Their Impact On The )
Terrestrial Radio Broadcast Service )
To: The Commission
REPLY COMMENTS OF RADIO KINGS BAY, INC.
Radio Kings Bay, Inc. (icRKBIl.), by its president, submits herewith its Reply
Comments in response Comments proffered to the Commission by iBiquity Digital
Corporation (iriBiquitylN), Emmis Communications, Walt Disney Company and ABC,
Inc., Bonneville International, National Association of Broadcasters (ioNABls),
Communications, Radio One, et. al., in the matter of the National Radio Systems
Committee DAB SubcommitteeTs iuEvaluation of the iBiquity Digital Corporation
In its NPRM dated November 1, 1999, the Commission outlined 10 tentative
selection criteria for DAB system policy and sought public comment on these
Those comments were due February 19, 2002. RBKI has no quarrel with the
and technical proposition that DAB could substantially enhance radio service
quality of such service provided to the radio listener. Accordingly, RKBI has
the CommissionTs efforts to pursue the adoption of a well-developed and
tested DAB system for the radio industry. In view of this degree of comfort
Commission was on proper course, RKBI did not see the necessity to file initial
Comments in this proceeding. Last week, however, and well after the Comments
date, a heretofore undisclosed consequence related to the acceptance of
IBOC system surfaced that must be called to your attention prior to the
adoption of a
single DAB standard. Accordingly the CommissionTs acceptance of these Reply
Comments is respectfully requested.
Contrary to the passionate Comments submitted by those who exhort the
Commission to quickly adopt the test results of the iBiquity® hybrid mode
DAB system, RKBI now believes it to be both inappropriate and contrary to the
interest to move forward in adopting a final FM (and/or AM) DAB system in
a clear, concise understanding of the economic implementation costs to radio
broadcasters. RKBI learned just recently that out of the murky bottom of
range agenda for implementing its FM-IBOC technology, now comes the startling
revelation that broadcast stations would be required to remit a royalty license
to iBiquity Digital Corporation. The fee formula is purported to be calculated
by taking a
stationTs annual FCC regulatory fee and multiplying that number by fifteen
fees would be a flagrant addition to iBiquityTs proprietary FM-IBOC system
that would be licensed to both manufacturers of DAB radio broadcast
processing equipment and to consumer electronics companies. In both
venues, such licensing fee costs are funneled back down to radio stations or
end users as part of equipment purchase pricing. The perverted notion of a
license royalty fee on individual radio stations clearly raises the bar for a
Commission sanctioned shakedown of our business where no industry pattern for
egregious extortion previously existed.
What is the historical basis for leveling a license royalty fee on radio
for technological advancements within our industry? Certainly the issue never
before radio broadcasters or the Commission when a compatible FM Stereo system
conceived and implemented; so same with television broadcasters during the
digital television conversion. There is absolutely no rational basis for DAB
technology to be treated any differently than the previous technological
within the radio or television broadcast industry. The both novel and insulting
advanced by iBiquity that a DAB system should be treated like a per user
software license is pure sophistry and nothing short of an Enron® caliber
maximize corporate profits without any regard for broadcast operators like
RKBI, a last-
of-a-dying-breed ifmom and poplm community radio station serving a small South
market. According to a recent assessment conducted by the Georgia Association
Broadcasters, it will obligate the average radio station to spend approximately
to technically convert its operation to DAB. That number alone weighs heavily
small market station as it looks to how it can economically afford the
financial burden of
implementing any DAB system that may be mandated by the Commission sometime in
the future. To further entangle and escalate these transition costs, now come
destructive unfolding of iBiquityTs contrivance to charge stations an FM-IBOC
royalty fee. It is therefore imperative that the Commission force the issue on
royalty fees before a single system DAB standard is adopted. By not doing so,
respectfully suggested that contrary to the public interest, DAB implementation
likely be seriously delayed as intense debate swells over both the legal
inherent discrimination radio broadcasters would be forced to endure under a
Commission mandated DAB system that includes a broadcast station license
Not unexpectedly, the unabashed, glowing comments filed in this proceeding by
the previously identified entities -- Emmis, Disney/ABC, Bonneville, Cox, Radio
et. al., -- are close-mouthed on the issue of DAB system license royalty fees.
these and other major group media conglomerates including Beasley, Citadel,
Channel, Cumulus, Entercom, Regent, Sega, Hispanic Broadcasters, and Viacom,
and all hold a financial sake in iBiquity Digital Corporation. And you wonTt
discouraging word from the National Association of Broadcasters (ioNABls)
while NAB hoists their convenient, hide-behind flag of ifanti-trustl. for
on DAB royalty fees, dues payments from these groups represent substantial
that association and some of those same groups hold seats on the NAB Board of
Directors. It doesnTt take a rocket scientist to conclude why their sweet
chorus all sing for
a rapid rollout of DAB and, in particular, acceptance of iBiquityTs FM-IBOC
called return on investment! A .full speed ahead, damn the torpedoesT adoption
single standard for DAB without fully considering the ethical and financial
of license royalty fees on radio broadcasters will neither facilitate the
implementation of DAB service, nor will it help to promote the CommissionTs
assuring the vitality of free, over-the-air radio broadcasting. RKBI urges the
to first squarely confront the acceptable parameters and limits of DAB
licensing before it decides on the adoption of a single DAB standard.
Radio Kings Bay, Inc.
BY: James U. Steele
James U. Steele
Radio Kings Bay, Inc.
P. O. Box 2525
Kingsland, GA 31548
March 20, 2002
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