As previously reported, the Commission adopted rules requiring broadcasters, MVPDs and telecommunications carriers to engage in a coordinated educational campaign regarding the DTV Transition. The rules were to become effective once (a) the FCC’s notice had been published in the Federal Register, (b) the Office of Management and Budget had approved the new "information collection" requirements, and (c) notice of the OMB’s approval had been published in the Federal Register. Those three events have all occurred – the last occurring with the March 31 Federal Register notice of OMB’s approval. That Notice indicates that: the rules become effective March 31; full power television broadcasters must file new FCC Form 388 no later than April 10, 2008 (and quarterly thereafter); and MVPD and eligible telecommunications carriers must come into compliance with the rules on April 30, 2008.
In a footnote to the notice the Commission indicated that reports filed on Form 388 – including the First Quarter report that is due no later than April 10 – must include information on all consumer education efforts that the broadcast station took during the first quarter, even if those efforts were done on a voluntary basis. Broadcasters should immediately begin to prepare summaries of the DTV education efforts they made during the first quarter of 2008 – including PSAs and other announcements made on-air regarding the DTV Transition, as well as notices placed on the station’s website (if applicable).
While the new rules and the new reporting requirement are now effective, the new form (FCC Form 388) to use to meet that requirement is not yet available for submission. A check on the FCC’s website on March 31 revealed that the Form is not yet effective, and as of 2:00 p.m. it was still not available on CDBS. We will continue to look out for the official version of the FCC Form 388 and post a brief notice when the form is available for use.