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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

Update: Comment Deadlines Announced in Alien Ownership Inquiry

Last month we reported on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) through which the FCC is seeking comment on the way it processes proposals involving reportable levels of foreign ownership. The NPRM has now wended its way into the Federal Register, which means that the deadlines for comments and replies have been set. Get out … Continue Reading

Wheeler Takes Retrans Re-Tooling Off the Table

Chairman blogs that FCC will not be modifying “totality of the circumstances” test on his watch. In the long-running retransmission consent war pitting broadcasters against MVPDs, a major threat to the status quo has been averted: according to a blog posted on the FCC’s website by Chairman Tom Wheeler, the Commission has opted not to … Continue Reading

EWW, SSA, SSW: New EAS Event Codes Added

While supporting the decision, Commissioner O’Rielly criticizes FCC’s “cost/benefit” analysis In what four out of five FCC Commissioners seem to view as a no-brainer, the Emergency Alert System just got three more event codes and two slightly-revised geographic location codes. The odd man out? Commissioner O’Rielly. He doesn’t question the potential utility of the new/revised … Continue Reading

Pursestrings 2016: New Application Fee Schedule Announced

Normally non-controversial biennial action spiced up this year by partial dissent from Commissioner O’Rielly Thanks to Congress, the FCC has got to charge application fees and, also thanks to Congress, those fees have got to be adjusted every two years in light of changes in the Consumer Price Index. The last time the Commission tweaked … Continue Reading

Convention-al Wisdom: Auxiliary Frequency Coordination Provisions for Political Confabs Announced

FCC takes steps in anticipation of extensive auxiliary operation at upcoming conventions, inauguration It looks like Louis Libin won’t be getting much time off this month, or next January either, for that matter. That’s because he has been designated as the single point of contact for frequency coordination operations under Section 74.24 at (deep breath, … Continue Reading

FCC Forfeiture Limits Increased Across the Board

Keeping up with the cost-of-living … If you happened to feel a vague, somewhat disturbing, shudder recently, don’t worry: it was just the upper limit of potential FCC fines being raised across the board. By Order effective July 1, 2016 (or maybe August 1 – we’ll get to that), the Commission followed up on a … Continue Reading

Update: Comment Deadline Announced for Proposed Revisions to EAS Operating Handbook

Less than a week ago we reported that the FCC has invited comments on a draft revision of its EAS Operating Handbook proposed by the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC). We mentioned that the comment period would be short – 15 days from Federal Register publication – which suggested that the FCC wants … Continue Reading

Alien Ownership: FCC Seeks Comment on “Streamlined” Review Process

Proposal would put other agencies on 90-day clock to complete review of possible national security issues. In an effort to facilitate foreign investment in U.S. common carrier and broadcast licensees, the FCC has proposed changes in the way it processes proposals involving reportable levels of foreign ownership. Historically, a major source of delay in the … Continue Reading

Update: Comment Deadlines Set in Online Public File Rulemaking

Last month we reported on an FCC proposal to ditch two vestiges of the old local public inspection file requirements. On the way out the door: first, the rule requiring broadcasters to make available for public inspection correspondence from audience members concerning station operation; and second, the obligation for cable operators to include in their … Continue Reading

Beefing Up Video Description Requirements?

Commission seeks comment on steps to improve, expand accessibility of video-described programming Way back at the dawn of the century (the 21st Century, that is), the FCC adopted rules requiring video providers to include “video descriptions” in their transmission. “Video description” involves the insertion, into natural pauses in the program’s dialogue, of audio-narrated descriptions of … Continue Reading

On the Way Out: Two Vestigial Remnants of Pre-Online Public File Universe

Commission proposes to eliminate obligations to include public correspondence in commercial broadcasters’ public files, headend location information in cable operators’. Following through on a promise it made in January, the Commission has proposed to eliminate one element of its local public inspection file rules for broadcasters, and it has now proposed to do the same … Continue Reading

2016 Regulatory Fees Proposed: Larger Market TV Fees Going Up, Most Radio Fees Heading Down

If it’s May, it must be time for  proposed regulatory fees – and sure enough, here they are! In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the FCC has got the ball rolling down the road that, for many regulatees, will lead us to a payment deadline sometime in September (or maybe August, but don’t count … Continue Reading
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