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FCC Regulations Governing the Audio Fidelity Characteristics of FM Broadcast Equipment

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This paper on the FCC Rules and Standards for Audio will be limited to a discussion of the audio fidelity standards for the FM Broadcast Service. At the time this Service was established back in 1940, the Commission regocnized that the use of frequency modulation (FM) made possible the creation of a high quality broadcast service. Among the advantages of FM are the freedom from static and fading, and the ability of an FM receiver to capture the stronger of two signals transmitted on the same carrier frequency. In order to take full advantage of these characteristics of FM, the Commission has specified a 200 kc/s separation between adjacent channels, thus allowing the transmission of a 50-15,000 c/s audio bandwidth. In contrast, the AM Standard Broadcast Service requires the transmission of only a 100-5,000 c/s bandwidth. The FM technical standards discussed in this paper have been adopted by the FCC to insure that the audio fidelity capabilities of the FM Broadcast Service are not degraded in practice.

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