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The Supreme Court Overturns Third Circuit on Media Ownership Rules

On Thursday, April 1, 2021 the Supreme Court unanimously voted to overturn the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia (“Third Circuit”) in the case of Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) v. Prometheus Radio Project, No. 19-1231. The possibility of this result was something we had considered in a previous post, which … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for April – June

Broadcast Deadlines: April 1, 2021 Radio License Renewal Applications Due – Applications for renewal of license for radio stations located in Texas must be filed in Licensing and Management System (LMS). These applications must be accompanied by Schedule 396, the Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity Program Report (EEO), also filed in LMS, regardless of the number … Continue Reading

FCC Warns Inactive/Non-Responsive C-Band Earth Stations: File or Be Terminated

As readers of CommLawBlog know, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) has reallocated the lower portion of the C-Band used for satellite communications and auctioned that portion of the spectrum for wireless services. In connection with that auction, operators of C-Band Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) earth stations will have to modify their operations … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for March – May

Broadcast Deadlines: March 12, 2021 NPRM: Permit FM Booster Stations to Transmit Geo-Targeted Content – Reply Comments are due in response to the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with regard to possible changes to the booster station rules that could enable FM broadcasters to use FM booster stations to … Continue Reading

ATSC 3.0 Order Encourages the Deployment of Broadcast Internet Services

On December 10, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) released a Report and Order that is intended to encourage further deployment of the ATSC 3.0 Next Generation Television Standard (ATSC 3.0), and particularly to facilitate the expansion of new and innovative ancillary and supplementary “Broadcast Internet” services by noncommercial educational (NCE) stations. … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for February – April

Broadcast Deadlines: February 1, 2021 Radio License Renewal Applications Due – Applications for renewal of license for radio stations located in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma must be filed in the Licensing and Management System (“LMS”). These applications must be accompanied by Schedule 396, the Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Program Report, also filed in LMS, … Continue Reading

Selected New Developments in Broadband – January

Capitol Hill Although President Trump criticized the final $900 billion COVID-relief legislative package (containing both COVID-relief and an omnibus spending bill that averted a government shutdown) for providing too little financial relief to Americans and too much wasteful spending, on December 27 he signed the package into law.… Continue Reading

FCC Takes Step Forward to Establishment of Rip and Replace Program

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) took a significant step forward this month in concretizing its program for extirpating equipment from the country’s communications networks that poses a threat to national security. The Commission’s Order in large part implements the objectives of the Secure and Trusted Networks Act of 2019 (the “Secure Networks … Continue Reading

Enforcement Bureau Cracks Down on Properties Allowing Pirate Radio 

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) Enforcement Bureau released three Notices of Illegal Pirate Radio Broadcasting to multiple New York City-based property managers for housing an unlicensed radio broadcasting operation. In conjunction with the notices, the FCC issued an Order – without the typical notice and comment procedures – implementing the Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act (“PIRATE … Continue Reading

Now Available: NETA Webinar Series

Over the last few weeks, attorneys Bob Winteringham, Dan Kirkpatrick, and Frank Montero have presented a series of compliance webinars for the National Education Telecommunications Association  as a part of their course entitled “Navigating Common Compliance Matter,” which covered important compliance topics for broadcast stations.   Those webinar topics include: Corporation for Public Broadcasting compliance … Continue Reading

Selected New Developments in Broadband – December

Capitol Hill What will happen in broadband under a Biden Administration is at the top of everyone’s agenda. While we expect a large infrastructure/stimulus package (to include broadband) in the first 100 days, precise details are yet to emerge. Turning to the lame duck session, emergency broadband funding as part of COVID relief and/or the … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for December – February

December 1, 2020 Radio License Renewal Applications Due – Applications for renewal of license for radio stations located in Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota must be filed in the Licensing and Management System (LMS). These applications must be accompanied by Schedule 396, the Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program Report, also filed … Continue Reading

FCC Restructures Intelligent Transportation System Rules

On November 19, the FCC issued a Report and Order for which the Wi-Fi community can be justly grateful at their Thanksgiving celebrations. For some years the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) has been concerned that the potential for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) in the 5.85 – 5.925 band has never panned out.  … Continue Reading

Selected New Developments in Broadband – November

Capitol Hill On November 4, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated he is willing to resume negotiations on COVID-19 relief legislation before the end of the year (he had previously indicated no legislation is possible before the end of the year). Whether this would be standalone legislation or part of a necessary government funding package … Continue Reading

Now in Effect: FCC Repeals Radio Duplication Prohibitions

Back in August, we wrote about the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) decision to end the prohibition of commonly owned radio stations in the same service (AM or FM) that have 50% or more overlap of their primary service contours from duplicating more than 25% of their programming. Now that the decision is published in the Federal Register, it … Continue Reading

Now Available: The New FCC Radio License Filing Window – What You Need to Know

On October 29, Fletcher Heald attorneys Frank Montero and Keenan Adamchak in cooperation with the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (“NFCB”) presented a webinar on the upcoming noncommercial educational (“NCE”) FM and lower power FM (“LPFM”) filing windows. In this webinar, they explored the NCE and LPFM application forms, processes, and FCC tie-breaking criteria, as well as pointing out … Continue Reading

FCC Authorizes All-Digital AM Service

Taking the next step in its ongoing efforts to revitalize the AM broadcast service, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has authorized AM radio stations to convert to all-digital broadcasting. Making such a switch is expected both to improve the quality of the signal received by listeners and to expand the area in which the audience … Continue Reading

After 16 Years, FCC Lifts TV Filing Freeze

The Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) Media Bureau announced via Public Notice the end of a filing freeze on certain full power and Class A TV station modifications that lasted more than 16 years and the leadership of seven FCC chairpersons. The freeze was part of the FCC’s effort to keep a stable technical database first … Continue Reading

Broadcast Local Public Notice Rule Changes Go Into Effect October 30

The Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) Local Public Notice Rule Changes have been published in the Federal Register and will go into effect tomorrow, October 30. These changes – which we detailed at length in a previous post – eliminate the obligation to publish a public notice of certain broadcast applications in newspapers, requiring instead that … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for November – January

Broadcast Deadlines: November 16, 2020  Amending the Schedule of FCC Application Fees – Comments are due in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC” or the “Commission”) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requesting comments on proposed changes to its application fee schedule, which the FCC considers to be significant and which include fee amounts, most of … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Ten Application Limit for New NCE Stations in 2021 Filing Window

In correspondence with members of Congress, Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairman Ajit Pai had signaled that an application filing window for new Noncommercial Educational (“NCE”) stations would be opening sometime fairly soon. In a Public Notice (“PN”) released October 19, the FCC confirmed that a filing window will be coming. The specific dates of the … Continue Reading

Now Available: Broadcasting During Times of Emergency

Yesterday, Fletcher Heald attorneys Frank Montero and Davina Sashkin with Pat Roberts of  the Florida Association of Broadcasters (“FAB”), and their special guests Lisa Fowlkes and Christina Clearwater of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, and Craig Fugate, former FEMA Administrator and founder of Fugate Consulting, presented a webinar in consultation with the … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts STIR/SHAKEN Rules to Combat Illegal Robocalls

The Federal Communications Commission recently released a Report and Order (“Order”) to promote the use of the STIR/SHAKEN framework (which we wrote a useful primer on) in combatting caller ID spoofing. The FCC is giving carriers until June 30, 2021 to implement STIR/SHAKEN. However, if a carrier wants to receive exemption from the Caller ID … Continue Reading

Gaming Out the Supreme Court’s Media Ownership Review

As we reported last week, the United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear appeals by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) and the National Association of Broadcasters (“NAB”) of a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that overturned a 2017 decision by the FCC attempting to relax … Continue Reading
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