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2015 Reg Fees Set, Payment Deadline Announced, Fee Filer Open (for now)

Fire up your computer, free up some space on your credit cards and get your FRN information ready – you’ve got until SEPTEMBER 24, 2015 to get your reg fees paid … but don’t count on paying between 6:00 p.m., September 2 and 8:00 a.m., September 8. And we thought last year – when the … Continue Reading

Upcoming Webinar: Davina Sashkin Explains what Wireless Bidders can Look FORWARD to in the Incentive Auction

On the agenda: What we know so far about the planned auction of the 600 MHz band, and what wireless carriers and other bidders interested in getting a piece of this beachfront can expect when it gets here. There’s no denying it: the unprecedented incentive auction is barreling toward us. While many details are still … Continue Reading

Update: Comment Deadlines Extended in Equipment Authorization, E-Labeling Proceeding

When he reported on the FCC’s proposal to overhaul its equipment authorization processes, our colleague Mitchell Lazarus observed that, “[f]or an NPRM of this scope and complexity, the comment periods are brutally short.” He was not alone in that view. The Telecommunications Industry Association, the Information Technology Industry Council, the Consumer Electronics Association and the … Continue Reading

New Course Listing at U of FCC: Ownership Reports 101 – Re-intro to Form 323

Media Bureau announces 90-minute crash course in advance of biennial ritual. Important reminder: Biennial Ownership Reports (FCC Form 323) for commercial radio and TV (including Class A and LPTV licensees) are due this fall. We’ve already seen the first sign of this, with the Media Bureau announcing the traditional extension of the filing deadline. (Reports … Continue Reading

Broadcasters Now in the Sights of Pre-1972 Performance Right Holders

Expanding “Flo and Eddie” theory beyond Sirius XM and Pandora, suits seek state-created performance rights royalties from broadcasters. For the last year or so I’ve reported on efforts being made by some recording artists and record labels to assert performance right interests in recordings made prior to February, 1972. (Why February, 1972? Take a minute … Continue Reading

FCC to Rest of World: Take an Extra Long Labor Day Weekend … and Keep Your Fingers Crossed

Commission extends due dates in advance of upgrade of all electronic filing systems and electronic dockets. If you’ve got something due to be filed at the FCC between September 2-8, 2015, you just got an extension … to September 9. Happy Labor Day! For this you can thank the Commission’s IT gurus, who are going … Continue Reading

Wireless Mics: The Lay of the Post-Incentive Auction Land Takes Shape

Wireless mic users must prepare to dance a spectrum hokey-pokey to adjust to spectrum reductions, new operating rules The Pope will visit the U.S. in late September, which is already prompting extensive preparations in many quarters. Among those readying themselves: news operations, professional wireless microphone operators and wireless mic frequency planners in several major cities … Continue Reading

Update: New Deadlines Set for Comments on Proposed Reservation of UHF Channel Space for Unlicensed Use, Wireless Mics

On again, off again, back on again. That’s story with the comment deadlines for the FCC’s proposal to preserve vacant UHF TV channel space in every geographic area of the country for use by unlicensed TV white space devices and wireless microphones. When that proceeding was kicked off, comments were due pronto. But then the … Continue Reading

Drone Even Go There, Redux: The FAA, Drones and Newsgathering

Interim update on interim FAA policy As we reported earlier this year, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has opened a proceeding looking at “best practices” for the commercial and private use of drones. NTIA’s first multistakeholder confab was held here in Washington on August 3 to explore some of the questions on the … Continue Reading

Update: Auction 98, Now in the Books

[WARNING! While Auction 98 has closed, strict federal anti-collusion rules remain in effect for several more weeks, until the down payment deadline, which should be announced shortly. Parties who were involved in any way in the auction – including folks who filed applications but then elected not to participate in the auction – should refrain … Continue Reading

Update: Comment Deadlines Set in Equipment Authorization, E-Labeling Proceeding

We recently reported on the FCC’s proposal to overhaul its equipment authorization processes. (Also as we reported separately just yesterday, that proposal includes provisions for possible expansion of the FCC’s e-labeling rules as mandated by Congress.) The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking has now made it into the Federal Register which, as we all know, means … Continue Reading

Expansion of Electronic Labeling Options Out for Comment

Following Congressional directive, FCC would allow e-labeling for most devices with integrated electronic displays. As attentive readers will recall, late last year Congress passed the E-LABEL Act (yes, that is indeed an acronym; it stands for “the Enhance Labeling, Accessing, and Branding of Electronic Licenses Act”). That Act directed the FCC to provide some means … Continue Reading

Update: Media Bureau Suspends Deadlines for Comments on Proposed Reservation of UHF Channel Space for Unlicensed Use, Wireless Mics

Last month we reported on the Commission’s proposal to preserve vacant UHF TV channel space in every geographic area of the country for use by unlicensed TV white space devices and wireless microphones. The deadlines for comments on the proposal were set tout de suite, and things seemed to be moving merrily along on the … Continue Reading

FilmOn Takes a Big Step Closer to Section 111 Eligibility

Federal judge in California declares Aereo clone potentially eligible for compulsory copyright license. Sometimes, getting there first doesn’t mean that you’re the winner. Just look at Aereo, whose innovative technology was going to revolutionize the delivery of video programming. Although supposedly embraced by the consuming public, Aereo was sued for copyright infringement by lots of … Continue Reading

The FCC’s Tower Approval Process: Round and Round It Goes, When Will It Stop? Nobody Knows!

FCC OK’s reopening of seemingly closed historic review process … eight years after the question is raised. Getting governmental approval to build a tower can take a long time. As a recent FCC decision demonstrates, it can take a lot longer when the government can’t decide when the approval process has come to an end. … Continue Reading

SESAC Suit Settled

Props to Bill Velez for striking a good deal for the radio industry! Bill Velez and the gang at the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) have struck again. Having targeted SESAC in an antitrust suit in 2012, they have now used the leverage of that suit to gain a settlement with SESAC that should prove … Continue Reading

Audio Overkill: New AM and FM Licenses Conditioned on Continuous Operation

New radio licensees now presumed to have constructed only “temporary” facilities if they fail to operate continuously for a year. What a difference a day makes! That is, if the day in question is July 2, 2015 and you happen to be a radio broadcaster waiting for grant of a license application. That’s because all … Continue Reading

Eleven Field Offices Culled in Reorganization

Moving to “refocus” and “update” field office operations, FCC preserves more offices than originally anticipated, but some field personnel will lose jobs. A few months ago, we reported on Chairman Wheeler’s then-rumored plan to eliminate 16 of the Commission’s 24 Field Offices. (The plan, as described by Wheeler himself in testimony on Capitol Hill, would … Continue Reading

Intern-al Affairs IV: The Employer Strikes Back

The Second Circuit has weighed in on the on-going litigation by unpaid interns looking for pay. Who says that unpaid internships don’t teach interns anything? Why, just recently a number of unpaid interns learned an important lesson: what a trial judge giveth, an appeals court can taketh away. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the … Continue Reading
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