The FCC should just mandate the end of AM/FM in 10 years for a total conversion to HD. And make converters and coupons available like they did for TV.
If the system is that good what’ stopping them? Maybe the FCC has doubts too.
You're comparing apples to oranges.
--TV broadcasters were given an extra channel, on a temporary basis, to initiate DTV operations. After 2/17/09, they must darken one channel and turn in that license. HD radio uses (in theory, obviously not in practice) the same channel as its analog counterpart.
--There is, from the consumer's POV, a tangible benefit to DTV, because many stores have trouble keeping the sets in stock. Consumers have apparently seen little or no benefit from HD radio...not enough to prevent the receivers from being returned and/or thrown into the close-out bins.
--People don't generally own nearly as many TVs as they do radios. You're talking about getting enough radios or converters into the marketplace to compete with 800-million-plus analog radios, which in your plan would go silent on a certain date.
--DTV signals don't interfere with their analog counterparts on adjacent channels. As for HD radio, Bob Savage and other AM operators have made it abundantly clear that despite iBiquity's and the FCC's head-in-the-sand attitudes, AM-HD does interfere at distances of hundreds or thousands of miles.
At the rate HD radios are selling, waiting ten years would be pointless. The critical mass of HD radios in the hands of consumers simply won't exist after that time.