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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

Time to Test Drive the New and Improved Online Public File System!

“Local” no more – as of June 24, new “OPIF” will be up and running … but a demo can – AND SHOULD – be checked out NOW Last January we reported on the FCC’s decision to expand its online public inspection file (now officially referred to as “OPIF”) requirement to include radio broadcasters, cable … Continue Reading

¿Es Esta Una Prueba?

FCC “grants” petition seeking mandatory foreign language EAS alerts by declining to impose mandatory foreign language EAS alerts; but some new reporting requirements are added How do you say EAS en español? Apparently, that’s something EAS participants won’t need to worry about anytime soon. The FCC has rejected a proposal that would have mandated the … Continue Reading

Comment Deadlines Set in White Space Database Clean-up Proceeding

Last month we reported on the FCC’s proposals aimed at reducing the problems that could arise when use of unlicensed devices in the 600 MHz band becomes widespread. The Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rule Making has now been published in the Federal Register, which means we now know the deadlines for comments on those proposals. … Continue Reading

Attention, Reverse Auction Participants: A Small Package of (Potentially) Great Value Should Be Delivered to You Shortly

Second Confidential Status Letters are on the way! If you’re a TV licensee who submitted a “complete” application to participate in the upcoming reverse auction component of the Incentive Auction, be on the lookout for a package coming to you from the FCC. It’s your Second Confidential Status Letter (SCSL) – a/k/a your Golden Ticket … Continue Reading

“Utility” Regulation Was Good for the Internet (and here’s why …)

The Internet’s stunning growth, from its beginnings through maturity in 2005, relied on common carrier rules. (Blogmeister’s note: Even more than usual, this post reflects the views of its author and not necessarily those of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, its other lawyers, or its clients.) The FCC’s latest effort at net neutrality rules is a … Continue Reading

White Space Database Clean-up

FCC opens rulemaking to address white space geolocation questions. Everybody interested in 600 MHz – whether broadcasters sweating the repacking process, carriers planning to bid on new spectrum, or one of the many other current spectrum users wondering what the future will look like – share a common concern: How will the FCC ensure that … Continue Reading

Sweeping Test of EAS NPT Readiness Slated for February 24

FEMA-organized test to include 22 states, two territories and D.C. Here’s a big CommLawBlog HEADS UP for those of you broadcasting in any of these 25 (count ‘em, 25!) jurisdictions: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, … Continue Reading

“Local” No More: Radio, Cable, Satellite All Moving their (Previously) Local Public Inspection Files to the Internet

Concluding a proceeding begun a mere 18 months ago, the Commission has extended its online public file requirement well beyond the broadcast TV industry. To no one’s real surprise, the FCC has decided to expand its online public inspection file requirement – first imposed on television broadcasters in 2012 – to include radio broadcasters, cable … Continue Reading

Meanwhile, on the East Coast: D.C. Court Rejects FilmOn X Claim to Compulsory License

But District Court decision could be key to a return to the Supreme Court for Aereo-related issues FilmOn X’s fortunes have taken a turn for the worse. But for FilmOn X, that might not be a totally bad thing. Longtime readers will be familiar with FilmOn X, the Aereo doppelganger. When Aereo burst on the … Continue Reading
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