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[Discuss-gnuradio] Is DAB a potential Antitrust issue?

From: Tim Pozar
Subject: [Discuss-gnuradio] Is DAB a potential Antitrust issue?
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 11:33:27 -0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.2.5i

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 ----- 
From: address@hidden 
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

Let's see: 

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 
power stations. 
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? 

Page 6: 

"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. 

Before the 
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 
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 
and the 
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 
that the 
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 
iBiquityTs FM- 
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 
absence of 
a clear, concise understanding of the economic implementation costs to radio 
broadcasters. RKBI learned just recently that out of the murky bottom of 
iBiquityTs long 
range agenda for implementing its FM-IBOC technology, now comes the startling 

revelation that broadcast stations would be required to remit a royalty license 
fee directly 
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 
(15). These 
fees would be a flagrant addition to iBiquityTs proprietary FM-IBOC system 
that would be licensed to both manufacturers of DAB radio broadcast 
transmission and 
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 
rollout of 
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 
attempt to 
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 
upon this 
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 
DAB system 
royalty fees before a single system DAB standard is adopted. By not doing so, 
it is 
respectfully suggested that contrary to the public interest, DAB implementation 
likely be seriously delayed as intense debate swells over both the legal 
foundation and 
inherent discrimination radio broadcasters would be forced to endure under a 
Commission mandated DAB system that includes a broadcast station license 
royalty fee. 
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. 
No wonder, 
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 
hear a 
discouraging word from the National Association of Broadcasters (ioNABls) 
either. For 
while NAB hoists their convenient, hide-behind flag of ifanti-trustl. for 
remaining mute 
on DAB royalty fees, dues payments from these groups represent substantial 
income for 
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 
mode. ItTs 
called return on investment! A .full speed ahead, damn the torpedoesT adoption 
of a 
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 
goal of 
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. 

Respectfully submitted, 
Radio Kings Bay, Inc. 
BY: James U. Steele 
James U. Steele 
President/General Manager 
Radio Kings Bay, Inc. 
P. O. Box 2525 
Kingsland, GA 31548 
(912) 729-6000 
March 20, 2002 

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