FCC Approves ZoneCasting Field Tests on KSJO/San Jose
|RADIO ONLINE | Monday, February 8, 2021|
The FCC has approved a GeoBroadcast Solutions application for experimental operation to build and operate two new co-located on-channel boosters at two discrete locations in order to garner additional data using the ZoneCasting FM booster system, which would provide broadcast radio the opportunity to air geo-targeted programming. The test will be conducted through Universal Media Access' KSJO-FM in San Jose, a South Asian/Indian broadcaster.
The trial is meant to demonstrate KSJO's ability to add localized weather and traffic, news, advertising and EAS tests during short parts of a broadcast hour, showing how seamlessly unrecognizable it will be to the average listener.
"Our signal reaches a broad section of the Bay Area, including San Francisco and San Jose. We're always looking for ways to improve the listener experience and are intrigued to see the opportunities ZoneCasting can provide KSJO in the future," said Universal Media Access President and CEO Bill Saurer.
This is the fourth Experimental Permit requested to test this technology and the second Experimental Permit request using the same booster configuration. The requested testing will use a back-to-back booster configuration set up at different locations near the busy I-680 corridor. The request is for a period of 90 days.
The cost of the field test will be shouldered by GeoBroadcast. The filing was made through Bert Goldman, President of Goldman Engineering Management, who will install the booster setup. Oversight and auditing of the trial will be made by Dennis Roberson President and CEO of Roberson and Associates, a technology and management consulting company to the radio industry.
"The KSJO Zonecasting demonstration will prove that ZoneCasting can be very simply implemented, in this case, adding only one booster location and can significantly improve coverage in low signal areas while providing geo-targeted programming which can benefit hundreds of thousands of listeners without interference," said Goldman.
Industry groups, media and advertising companies, broadcasting companies, minority coalitions and individual stations have all supported and seen the prospects for ZoneCasting technology, which can help stations provide content to better serve their communities by offering hyper-localized news, weather, emergency alerts, advertising and alternative languages during a small part of the broadcast hour.
The rule GeoBroadcast seeks to change relates to FM boosters and their ability to originate geo-targeted content; there would be no changes to the FCC's rules regarding interference or translators.
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