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FilmOn X Loses in Latest Bid to be a Cable System

Ninth Circuit is the latest to say that Internet-based services are not cable systems. Remember Aereo? Sure you do, if you were a regular CommLawBlog reader pretty much anytime between 2012 and 2015. Aereo was the upstart looking to revolutionize the way cord-cutters watched TV: its dime-sized antennas were designed to receive and capture local … Continue Reading

Pai’s FCC Sends Paper Correspondence File Rules Packing

Commercial broadcasters soon will not need to keep paper copies of viewer and listener correspondence about station operations in their public inspection files. The FCC voted 3-0 on Tuesday to eliminate the requirements at its first public meeting under new Chairman Ajit Pai. The Order also resolves a security issue for stations because they will … Continue Reading

Public File Political Requirements Clarified as Wheeler Administration Sunsets

On Friday, January 7, after the sun had set and the FCC’s doors were locked for the night, the agency released two decisions addressing complaints that a dozen TV stations did not provide sufficiently complete information about political advertising in their public inspection files during the 2016 Presidential campaign. That sounds kind of like a … Continue Reading

Blanket Import Waiver, Extended

FCC extends waiver of Form 740 import declarations As we’ve reported here and here, the Commission is proposing to modify some of its import declaration rules (i.e. Sections 2.1203 and 2.1205). These require, in part, that importers of RF equipment into the United States make certain certifications either electronically or on paper. The proposed rule … Continue Reading

Employers (and some Employees) Thankful as Federal Court Stays New Overtime Laws

For the past few months, business owners have been frantically preparing for a major change in the Department of Labor (DOL) regulations implementing the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which would greatly increase the number of employees eligible to receive overtime pay for work in excess of 40 hour per week.   These changes, were due … Continue Reading

Update: New EAS Foreign-Language Reporting Requirement Now In Effect

But EAS Participants have a year to advise their SECCs of what, if anything, they’re doing to provide EAS alerts to non-English speaking audiences. As we reported last spring, the FCC declined to require that non-English language announcements be provided by Emergency Alert System participants. But the Commission did decide that all State EAS Plans … Continue Reading

Repack Update: FCC Invites Comments on Widelity II

Input sought on revised catalog of likely repack expenses As we all know, TV stations forced by the Incentive Auction/spectrum repack process to modify their facilities will be entitled to reimbursement of their reasonable repacking-related costs. And as we reported a couple of years ago, to give everybody – FCC and affected broadcasters (and MVPDs) … Continue Reading

DIRS Activated as Hurricane Matthew Approaches Southeast States

As we had anticipated, the Commission has officially activated its Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) in connection with the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. Because of the urgency of the situation, the FCC has asked the NAB to get the word out to broadcast stations, and we here in the CommLawBlog bunker are more than happy … Continue Reading

As Matthew Makes Its Move, FCC Provides Emergency Response Information

With Matthew, the first big hurricane to threaten Florida and the Carolinas in several years, barreling up the coast, the FCC has started its anticipatory disaster response. A public notice released this afternoon alerts the public that Commission personnel will be available, 24/7, to assist communications providers as they deal with the effects of the storm. … Continue Reading

Six-Figure Fine for Failing to Focus on Former Felonies

Many FCC forms completed on a “routine” basis may need extra attention. Anyone who fills in pretty much any FCC form should be familiar with the certifications required by those forms. Anyone who “signs” an FCC form (whether electronically or otherwise) must be familiar with them; more importantly, the signatory must be sure that the … Continue Reading

2016 Reg Fees Set, But Payment Deadline Yet to be Announced

On the Friday before Labor Day weekend, the Commission released the final listing of regulatory fees for 2016. Those fees will have to be paid sometime before September 30, but as of September 4, the Commission had neither announced the deadline nor opened up its Fee Filer system for acceptance of reg fees. Maybe the … Continue Reading

Put It In Writing, Part III: Closed Captioning Chores Reassigned

Modified programmer compliance certifications, complaint procedures, to take effect September 22, 2016 For nearly two decades the FCC has been working to insure that television programming is appropriately accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing through closed captioning technology. In 2014 it finally got around to developing quality control standards which it applied not … Continue Reading

Tabula (Quasi) Rasa: The 2016 EAS Operating Handbook!

Latest edition of FCC Handbook features blank spaces galore to be filled in by EAS participants themselves. Two days after we posted a reminder about the upcoming deadline for EAS participants to (a) register on the Commission’s new EAS Test Reporting System and (b) submit their Form Ones (or should that be “Forms One”?) through … Continue Reading

Update: Effective Date of Revised Application Fees Announced

A couple of weeks ago we reported on the FCC’s adoption of a new schedule of application fees. Since the new schedule ups fees across-the-board, anybody who was planning to file a fee-able application in the near term might want to file sooner rather than later, to take advantage of the outgoing fees before they, … Continue Reading
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