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Demand for Internet Radio Station Callsigns High; IRUC Doubles Staff in Response to Order Volume

The Internet Radio Uniform Callsign Program, undertaken to standardize call letters for radio stations broadcasting on the World Wide Web, has become a runaway success, with demand exceeding the initial expectations set by the international organization responsible for overseeing the program.

The program, known within the industry by the acronym "IRUC," allocates and issues unique callsigns to radio stations broadcasting via the Internet, along the lines of national bodies (such as the Federal Communications Commission) which license standard AM and FM broadcasting stations.

IRUC, which incorporates support sections in several countries, has doubled its staff in order to handle the high demand, with an emphasis on requests from stations located in the United States.

In an effort to standardize and more reliably catalog stations broadcasting on the Internet, IRUC bases callsigns on international prefixes allocated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

For example, all call letters from KAA through KZZZ (western states) and WAA through WZZZ (eastern states) have been allocated to Internet radio stations in the United States. As an example, an Internet radio station may request WXYZ-IR, much as an FM station would request WXYZ-FM, with "-IR" designating "Internet Radio."

The IRUC program is open to station operators of all sizes, from individual home-based webcasters to larger multi-station operators.

In addition to standardizing call letters on an international basis, Internet broadcasters also benefit because listeners can find their stations more reliably on Reciva.com, VirtualTuner.com, Virtual Radio, Radio Tower, Penguin Radio and Radio-Directory.com, as well as other local and regional Internet Radio directories that help listeners locate streaming audio on the Web.

Pricing for sequentially-issued IRUC is currently set at US$15 (approx. €11,00) during the introductory registration period, which is in effect from 1 Jan 2009 through 1 Mar 2009 (2359hrs UTC). A surcharge is added for custom callsigns. Pricing will increase to US$20 (approx. €14,50) effective at 0000hrs UTC on 2 Mar 2009.

To streamline the process, a custom gateway has been created at http://us.iruc.org/docs/us-custom.shtml for station operators in the United States. Station operators outside the United States can register their station's call letters through the international gateway at http://www.iruc.org/docs.

A tutorial on Internet Radio callsigns is available on the IRUC website at http://www.iruc.org/docs/faq.shtml.

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