FCC Does Homeland Security, Promises IBOC Action

Last week the FCC voted to create a new Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. It sounds like organizational bloat related to the “war on terror,” but there are a couple of notable responsibilities the new bureau will assume.
The first is to be lead facilitator between the FCC and state and local law enforcement. That could portend bad things in places like Florida and New Jersey, though the Enforcement Bureau will still represent the FCC’s troops in the field. The second is the assumption of control over the High Frequency Direction Finding (HFDF) network. HFDF monitoring stations are used, among other things, to provide rough triangulation on shortwave pirates, though nobody’s been busted on those bands in nearly eight years.
Following the Commission’s monthly meeting, Chairman Kevin Martin held his first news conference and talked a bit about digital radio. Kev expects the FCC to anoint IBOC as the U.S. digital broadcast standard “fairly soon,” irrespective of the problems with the technology.