Radio Stations’ FCC License Renewal Cycle Starts Again

Has it been eight years already?  It’s hard to believe, but yes – the license renewal cycle for radio stations is about to start over again, with preparatory on-air announcements already in progress.  The TV cycle will start next year.

In a Public Notice released today, The Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC” or the “Commission”) Media Bureau announced revisions to the application process for this latest radio license renewal cycle.

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Deadline for Submission of Information on Earth Station Use of the 3.7 – 4.2 GHz Band

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) issued a Public Notice on April 11, 2019 (DA 19-278) in the proceeding relating to the use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz band (referred to as the “C-band”).  In its July 13, 2018 Order, the Commission announced that it would issue an information collection requirement for earth stations regarding their current use of the C-band.  The requirements for the information collection were finally announced in the Public Notice establishing the information required for the different types of operations and the requirement that the information must be filed electronically by May 28, 2019.

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FCC Poses New Questions to Improve Secondary Market Spectrum Transactions

On March 15, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) released a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) seeking comment on how the Commission can improve its secondary market rules for spectrum transactions. Specifically, the FCC wants to know whether and how it can improve its secondary market rules to get more spectrum in the hands of small carriers for deployment in rural areas. While improving the FCC’s secondary market rules is something all the Commissioners generally support, the FCC released the NPRM to satisfy its obligation under the MOBILE NOW Act. The Act became law on March 23, 2018, and required the FCC to initiate a proceeding to consider improvements to the Commission’s rules related to spectrum partition and disaggregation.

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FCC Pops Lid off Spectrum High End

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) has opened a new frontier in the amount of spectrum available for unlicensed and experimental operations, adopting rules covering frequencies between 95 GHz and 3 THz (3,000 GHz).

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Some Stations are Granted Relief From Duplicative DTV Transition Reports

Full Power and Class A TV stations that are changing channels as part of the TV spectrum repack and are scheduled to transition in Phases 3, 5, and 8 have been granted relief from the obligation to file what would otherwise be duplicative transition reports close together in time. Full power and Class A stations that are not changing channels do not have to file any transition reports; nor are reports required from any Low Power TV or TV Translator stations, regardless of whether or not they are changing channels. Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Rules for Distributing Repack Funds to FM Stations and FM Translators

[Editor’s Note:  This is part 2 of a 2-part series.  Part 1, addressing repack funds for LPTV and TV Translator stations, is available here]

As we reported in August 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”)  at that time released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking laying out how it would parcel out reimbursement funds for Low Power TV (LPTV), TV Translator, and FM stations impacted by the post-incentive auction repacking of full-power television stations.  The Commission has now adopted an Order with the final rules governing such reimbursements.  While the rules are largely as proposed in the NPRM, there are a few crucial differences.  This post provides an updated report on how reimbursements will be issued.

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FCC Adopts Rules for Distributing Repack Funds to LPTV and TV Translator Stations

[Editor’s Note:  This is part 1 of a two part series.  Part 2, addressing repack funds for FM stations, will be available tomorrow]

As we reported in August 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) at that time released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking laying out how it would parcel out reimbursement funds for Low Power TV (LPTV), TV Translator, and FM stations impacted by the post-incentive auction repacking of full-power television stations.  The Commission has now adopted an Order with the final rules governing such reimbursements.  While the rules are largely as proposed in the NPRM, there are a few crucial differences.  This post provides an updated report on how reimbursements will be issued.

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Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for April-June

Broadcast Deadlines:

April 1, 2019:        

License Renewal Pre-Filing Announcements – Radio stations located in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia must begin their pre-filing announcements with regard to their applications for renewal of license.  These announcements must be continued on April 16, May 1, and May 16.

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LPTV-Translator Displacement and Companion Channel Freeze Lifted

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) has announced in a public notice on March 19, 2019, that it will lift the 9-year old freeze on applications for displacement relief and digital companion channels by Low Power Television and TV Translator stations (together, “LPTV”).  Applications will be accepted starting April 18, 2019.

The new filing opportunity is only for applications by displaced stations.  Applications for channel changes by stations that are not displaced will not be accepted; nor will applications filed by new stations for construction permits be accepted.

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