FCC Waives Sponsorship Identification for Sponsored COVID-19 PSA’s

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has announced a waiver of broadcast sponsorship identification requirements concerning air time donated by commercial advertisers for public service announcements (“PSAs”) provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and other government agencies addressing the COVID-19 emergency. Continue Reading

You May Get Some More Robocalls, Thanks to COVID-19 – But Maybe Not So Much

On March 25, 2020, we blogged that the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) had issued a Declaratory Ruling under the Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), that the coronavirus pandemic constitutes an “emergency” which invokes a statutory exception permitting certain kinds of robocalls to be made and texts sent without the consent of the recipient.  Since that date, the FCC has taken two sharp actions to curtail robocalls; but then it has also invited comments on whether it should grant another exception allowing more COVID-19 related calls.  How many calls will ultimately be allowed, how many will be blocked, and how many will escape blocking all remain to be seen. Continue Reading

STIR/SHAKEN – Dial Another Day

With the new James Bond film delayed until the end of the year, the FCC has something to tide everyone over: STIR/SHAKEN – the SIP-based caller ID authentication process. Last year, Congress passed the Traced Act, which required the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to require caller ID authentication within 18 months of the Traced Act’s passage (June 2021). In response to the Traced Act, the Commission issued a STIR/SHAKEN implementation Report and Order (“Order”) and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“FNPRM”) on March 31, 2020 (“Order”). Continue Reading

Dates Announced for Comments on Regulation of RF Emissions in Higher Frequency Bands

On January 9, 2020, we blogged about a Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) decision resolving many of the issues that it had been considering with respect to limits on exposure of human beings to radiofrequency (“RF”) energy. The FCC also invited comments as to whether it should extend its regulation of RF emissions from the present range of 100 kHz to 100 GHz up to 3 THz (3,000 GHz).

Deadlines have now been announced for the new filings: May 6, 2020, for Comments, and May 21, 2020, for Reply Comments.

We would be happy to consult with clients who might wish to make their views known to the FCC with respect to regulation of RF exposure at higher frequencies.

Update: Comment Deadlines Available for Proposal to Drop Cable TV Public File Reports of Interest in Video Programming Services

On March 16, 2020, we wrote that the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has proposed to eliminate the rule that requires cable television systems to post in their online public inspection file (“OPIF”) information about the nature and extent of their attributable interests in video program services and which of those services they own are carried on their system. Continue Reading

DTS: More or Less, What’s Your Guess?

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking looking toward relaxing restrictions on Distributed Antenna Systems (“DTS”) for full-power television stations and making DTS newly available to Class A and Lower Power Television (“LPTV”) stations. Continue Reading

Auction 105 for the 3.5 GHz Band Delayed

In a Public Notice released last week, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) announced a delay in Auction 105 for the 3.5 GHz band due to COVID-19. Short-form applications will now be due on May 7, 2020 and the auction for priority licenses will take place on July 23, 2020. Continue Reading

FCC Extends Some April Broadcast Deadlines in Light of COVID-19

In a Public Notice released today, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) announced extensions to certain April deadlines for broadcasters:

Children’s Television Annual Report

As discussed in our previous CommLawBlog post on the subject, the first annual Children’s Television Report (covering the period from September 16, 2019-December 31, 2019) was already extended to a March 30 due date. Now that due date has been further extended until July 10. Continue Reading

FCC to Stations: Giving Away Spots Doesn’t Necessarily Have to Cost You When Candidates Come to Buy Time

One of the outcomes of the COVID-19 crisis – according to reports from many radio and televisions stations – has been a precipitous drop in spot sales and customers cancelling existing advertising contracts, leaving lots of airtime to fill. To fill that time, and to help other struggling businesses, some broadcasters have responded by offering advertisers free spot time. Continue Reading

You May Get Some More Robocalls, Thanks to COVID-19

I hate them, you hate them, we all hate robocalls with a passion (commonly used four-letter descriptions omitted here). But the Federal Communication Commission (“FCC”) had good reason last week to issue a Declaratory Ruling that under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), the coronavirus pandemic constitutes an “emergency” which invokes a statutory exception permitting certain kinds of robocalls to be made and texts to be sent without the consent of the recipient. Continue Reading

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