In a House subcommittee hearing last week on the “Future of Audio,” the utility and viability of FM chips in mobile devices was hotly contested. Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA) started the hearing highlighting her resolution (H.Con.Res. 42) that would “oppose any mandate for the inclusion of terrestrial broadcast radio tuners in the manufacture or sale of mobile devices, which would stifle innovation, competition, and consumer choice.” However, radio broadcast panelists before the subcommittee noted that they did not seek a mandate, but a study of the FM chip benefits. Moreover, they noted that FM chips would help relieve spectrum congestion as their signals are received over-the-air in a one-to-many fashion, rather than in a one-to-one fashion on a wireless Internet network. Rep. Eshoo had expressed concern with the effect of Internet data caps on online audio streaming.
NRB’s Board of Directors approved a Resolution this year calling for expanded availability of broadcast radio services in mobile phones.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations