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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

The Retransmission Consent NPRM: An Overview as the Comment Deadline Approaches

Here’s your chance to let the FCC know how to assess the “good faith” of parties to a retrans negotiation. While many (if not most) television licensees are likely trying to sift through the several hundreds of pages of FCC materials laying out the fast-approaching incentive auction process, it’s important not to lose sight of … Continue Reading

Forward Thinking: FCC Plans Ahead for Importers, Aims to Saves Trees

Import declaration rules waived for second half of 2016 Regular visitors to CommLawBlog know that the FCC maintains technical rules for radio transmitters and certain other equipment. These rules typically specify power, bandwidth, frequency stability, out-of-band emissions – that sort of thing. They’re intended to minimize the likelihood that a device will cause unwanted interference … Continue Reading

“Enhanced” Interference Complaint Process: Your Complaint is Important to Us; Please Remain on the Line.

As Field Offices are shuttered, Enforcement Bureau touts improved “transparency, consistency, and predictability” in complaint responses. As we reported in July, the FCC is saying sayonara to 11 of its 24 Field Offices. Also as we reported, when it announced that cut-back on July 16, the Commission committed to issuing, within six weeks, “new procedures … Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

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
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