March 9, 2020
All-Digital AM Broadcasting – Comments are due in response to the Federal Communication Commission’s (“FCC” or the “Commission”) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking input on a proposal to allow AM broadcasters to broadcast an all-digital signal using the HD Radio in-band on-channel (IBOC) mode known as MA3.
March 30, 2020
Children’s Television Programming Reports – For the first time, all commercial television and Class A television stations must file electronically their annual children’s television programming reports with the Commission, although the first one will cover only the portion of the year which began with the effective date of the revised rules (September 16 – December 31, 2019). These reports should be automatically included in the online public inspection file (OPIF), but we would recommend checking, as the FCC bases its initial judgments of filing compliance on the contents and dates shown in the online public file.
April 1, 2020
License Renewal Pre-Filing Announcements – Radio stations licensed in Michigan and Ohio, as well as TV stations licensed in Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, must begin broadcasts of their pre-filing announcements with regard to their applications for renewal of the license. These announcements must be continued on April 16, May 1, and May 16.
License Renewal Applications Due – Applications for renewal of license for radio stations located in Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee must be filed in the Commission’s License and Management System. These applications must be accompanied by Schedule 396, the Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program Report, also filed in Licensing & Management System (LMS), regardless of the number of full-time employees.
Radio Post-Filing Announcements – Radio stations licensed in Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee must begin broadcasts of their post-filing announcements with regard to their license renewal applications on April 1. These announcements must continue on April 16, May 1, May 16, June 1, and June 16. Once complete, a certification of broadcast, with a copy of the announcement’s text, must be posted to the online public file within seven days. Likewise, if it has not already been done, a certification of broadcast and text of the pre-filing announcements should be posted at the same time.
EEO Public File Reports – All radio and television station employment units with five or more full-time employees and located in Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas must place EEO Public File Reports in their OPIFs. For all stations with websites, the report must be posted there as well. Per announced FCC policy, the reporting period may end ten days before the report is due, and the reporting period for the next year will begin on the following day.
April 10, 2020
Issues/Programs Lists – For all commercial and noncommercial radio, television, and Class A television stations, a listing of each station’s most significant treatment of community issues during the first quarter of 2020 must be placed in the station’s OPIF. The list should include a brief narrative describing the issues covered and the programs which provided the coverage, with information concerning the time, date, duration, and title of each program with a brief description of the program.
Class A Television Stations Continuing Eligibility Documentation – The Commission requires that all Class A Television Stations maintain in their OPIFs documentation sufficient to demonstrate that the station is continuing to meet the eligibility requirements of broadcasting at least 18 hours per day and broadcasting an average of at least three hours per week of locally produced programming. While the Commission has given no guidance as to what this documentation must include or when it must be added to the public file, we believe that a quarterly certification which states that the station continues to broadcast at least 18 hours per day, that it broadcasts on average at least three hours per week of locally produced programming, and lists the titles of such locally produced programs should be sufficient.
April 6, 2020
All-Digital AM Broadcasting – Reply Comments are due in response to the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking input on a proposal to allow AM broadcasters to broadcast an all-digital signal using the HD Radio IBOC mode known as MA3.
March 1, 2020
Annual Consumer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) Certification – FCC rules require telecommunications carriers and interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers to certify compliance with FCC CPNI regulations. See 47 C.F.R. § 64.2001 et seq. Thus, telecommunications carriers file an annual CPNI certification with the FCC, including: (1) an explanation of any actions they have taken against data brokers; (2) a summary of all customer complaints received in the previous calendar year concerning the unauthorized release of CPNI; and (3) a summary of all CPNI policies and procedures. The filing must be made with the Enforcement Bureau in EB Docket No. 06-36.
FCC Form 477 – This form is filed online biannually on March 1 and September 1. The Commission collects a variety of information about broadband deployment and wireless and wired telephone service on Form 477. Broadly speaking, the following providers must fill Form 477: 1) facilities-based providers of broadband connections to end users, 2) providers of wired or fixed wireless local exchange telephone service, 3) providers of interconnected VoIP service; and 4) facilities-based providers of mobile telephony (mobile voice) services. If you have any questions about whether your company must file Form 477 or what information your company is required to submit in the filing, you should contact your telecommunications counsel.
April 1, 2020
Form 499-A – The annual Form 499 filing, Form 499-A, must be filed by telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers Carriers report their prior year’s annual revenues using the form, and the FCC uses that information to reconcile, or true-up, a carrier’s Universal Service Fund (USF) contributions over the past year based on the carriers quarterly Form 499-Q revenue projections. Carriers that overpaid their contributions will receive a credit, and Universal Service Administration Company (USAC) will bill carriers that underpaid their USF contributions.
Rate of Return Reporting FCC Form 492 – Local exchange carriers (LECs) groups of affiliated carriers must file FCC Form 492 within three months of the end of each calendar year. Each LEC or group of affiliated carriers may make corrections to the report within 6 months of the due date for the report. Two copies of the report must be filed with the Secretary of the Commission with an additional copy filed with the Wireline Competition Bureau, Industry Analysis, and Technology Division.
Automated Reporting Management Information System (ARMIS) Reporting – Certain incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) must file ARMIS reports annually by April 1. The Commission has made significant changes to ARMIS reporting over the years to reduce the reporting burden. That said, carriers subject to the reporting thresholds are still required to report some ARMIS information, including pole attachment reporting. Information subject to ARMIS reporting also may vary depending on whether a carrier is a mid-size or large ILEC or a mandatory price-cap, elective price-cap, or non-price-cap ILEC. If you have any questions about the FCC’s changes to ARMIS reporting, you should contact experienced telecommunications counsel.
Section 43.21(c) Letter – Common carriers with operating revenue in excess of the indexed revenue threshold must file a letter with the Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau showing the carriers operating revenues for the prior year and the value of its total communications plant at the end of the year. The indexed revenue threshold is defined in Section 32.9000 of the Commission’s rules. The threshold is an inflation-adjusted amount calculated based on the annual revenue of $100 million in 1992.
Recordkeeping Compliance Certification and Contact Information Registration (“RCCCI”) – Each year, equipment manufacturers and service providers (including traditional telephone providers, interconnected VOIP providers, and Advanced Communications Services, such as non-interconnected VoIP, electronic messaging, and interoperable video conferencing providers) must certify compliance with the FCC’s recordkeeping rules related to accessibility of their service by individuals with disabilities. Section 14.31(a) of the FCC’s rules requires equipment manufacturers and service providers to maintain certain records related to making telecommunications services accessible to individuals with disabilities. The RCCCI certification requires manufacturers and service providers to certify that they have procedures in place to meet those recordkeeping requirements. The certification is filed online and must be signed by an officer of each company under penalty of perjury.
May 1, 2020
Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet (FCC Form 499-Q) – FCC rules require telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers to file quarterly revenue statements reporting historical revenue for the prior quarter and projecting revenue for the next quarter. The projected revenue is used to calculate contributions to the USF for high cost, rural, insular and tribal areas as well as to support telecommunications services for schools, libraries, and rural health care providers. USF assessments are billed monthly.
Geographic Rate Averaging Certification – Non-dominant interstate interexchange providers operating on a detariffed must certify that their service complies with the provider’s geographic rate average and rate integration obligations. The certification is due annually by May 1 and must be signed by an officer of the company under oath. Certifications should be sent to the FCC’s Office of the Secretary, directed to the attention of:
Office of the Secretary
Attn: Chief, Pricing Policy Division
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20554
Numbering Resource Utilization Forecast (NRUF) (FCC Form 502) – Twice a year, service providers with numbers from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), a Pooling Administrator, or another telecommunications carrier must file a numbering resource utilization forecast. Subscriber toll-free numbers are not included in the report. Interconnected VoIP providers are subject to the reporting requirement along with other service providers who receive NANPA numbers, such as wireless carriers, paging companies, ILECs, and CLECs.