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High Frequency Broadcasting

High Frequency Broadcasting (HF), also known as Shortwave Broadcasting, is a radio service licensed by the FCC to operate between 5,950 kHz and 26,100 kHz. This is an international broadcast service where transmissions are intended to be received by the general public in foreign countries. The rules applicable to this service are located in Part 73 Subpart F of the FCC Rules. Unlike other broadcasting services, HF broadcasters are authorized frequencies on a seasonal basis. Currently, two seasons exist: a Summer season and a Winter season. The adjustment of frequencies between seasons results mainly from changes in propagation conditions, altered programming needs, and objectionable interference situations.

Due to the nature of the shortwave propagation, these broadcast signals propagate very long distances and are subject to interference from HF stations around the world, as a result, the HF frequency bands are extremely congested (particularly the lower frequency ranges). The worldwide demand for usable HF frequencies far exceeds the capacity of the allocated frequency bands. To remedy this overcrowding the FCC has authorized the use, on a non-interference basis, frequencies outside the allocated bands. In addition, the FCC regularly participates in international frequency coordination meetings in an effort to maximize its broadcasters access to clear channels and minimize any potential harmful interference to and/or from foreign HF broadcasters.

Contacts

Please send any specific questions and comments about the frequency coordination and assignment of frequencies for FCC HF Broadcasting Stations and any general questions and comments about FCC HF Broadcasting to Thomas Lucey: Thomas.Lucey@fcc.gov

Please send any questions and comments about FCC HF Broadcasting applications for Construction Permit, License, Renewal or Assignment to Shahnaz Ghavami: Shahnaz.Ghavami@fcc.gov

Current Issues and Announcements

Station and Schedule Information

Internationally Coordinated Operating Schedules

High Frequency Co-Ordination Conference (HFCC) is a non-governmental, non-profit association, and a sector member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). This coordination group meets twice a year to produce a coordinated schedule for a Summer and Winter season. The group attempts to resolve any potential channel and/or interference conflicts which may result between the parties they represent.

Information on Daylight Savings Time

In Europe, Daylight Savings Time starts the last Sunday in March and ends the last Sunday in October.  Up until 2007, in the United States, Daylight Savings Time started the first Sunday in April and ended the last Sunday in October. Effective in 2007, Daylight Savings Time starts the second Sunday in March and ends the first Sunday in November.

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