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The FCC’s Open Internet Order – Which Freedom?  

The fight over the Open Internet (better known as net neutrality) continued Thursday with the Federal Communications Commission voting to reverse the 2015 Title II Order, which reclassified broadband Internet access as a “telecommunications service.” This decision means that the Internet will return to its pre-2015 Title I “information service” classification (For a history of how … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcasting and Telecommunications Deadlines for January-February 2018

It’s never too early to get a jump start on upcoming deadlines as the New Year approaches. Below is a list of upcoming FCC deadlines to keep on your radar. Note our list is not comprehensive. Other proceedings may apply to you. Please do not hesitate to contact FHH if you have any questions.  January 10, 2018 … Continue Reading

‘Here Comes the Sun…’ Federal Magistrate Recommends that RMLC Lawsuit Against GMR be Moved to California

It was around this time last year that one of the most closely watched fights in music licensing history – if not copyright generally – went to the next level as the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) sued Global Music Rights (GMR). The RMLC lawsuit alleges that Irving Azoff-founded newest Performing Rights Organization (PRO), was … Continue Reading

Comment Deadlines Set for Proposed Changes in Ancillary/Supplementary Service Report Requirements

As we reported back in October, the Commission has proposed to end the requirement that all digital television, LPTV, and TV translator stations file annual ancillary/supplementary services reports. Plus, it instead requires only stations which actually offer such ancillary/supplementary services to file the forms and report on any revenues received. While this proposal has been … Continue Reading

FCC Fines Maker of Light Fixtures. Really.

The FCC proposed a fine of $25,000 against a manufacturer of fluorescent lighting fixtures. Wait a minute. Lighting fixtures? Well, sure, the FCC regulates radio transmitters. And digital devices, which produce radio waves as a by-product that can interfere with communications. But lighting fixtures? Will the bathroom plumbing be next? In fact fluorescent fixtures are … Continue Reading

I Know You Called: FCC Approves New Rules Permitting Disclosure of Blocked Caller IDs For Threatening Calls

If you’re a traditional landline user who grew up prank calling friends, you’re probably familiar with the dialing code *67, which blocked the outgoing Caller ID information from being transmitted to the call recipient. But you probably didn’t know that, under one of the FCC’s privacy rules, your decision to block your Caller ID transmission … Continue Reading

FCC Approves Voluntary ATSC 3.0 Next Gen TV Implementation

New Opportunities for Next Gen Broadcasters and Simulcast “Host” Stations, but Controversies Remain. Yesterday, the FCC adopted a Report and Order authorizing television broadcasters to use the “Next Generation” broadcast television (Next Gen TV) transmission standard (also called “ATSC 3.0”) on a voluntary, market-driven basis. This Order may herald a revolutionary change in TV broadcasting, opening … Continue Reading

One Small Step for Cell Sites: FCC Finds that Replacing Utility Poles is Unlikely to Affect Historical Properties

The Federal Communications Commission has taken a very tiny step toward eliminating unnecessary obstacles to the installation of communications facilities on existing structures without triggering historic review obligations. For the last year, the FCC has been reviewing the various regulatory obstacles that are hindering, delaying, and making more expensive the process of establishing new cell … Continue Reading

Christmas Has Come Early: Media Bureau Waives Ancillary/Supplementary Services Report Filing Requirement

Acting with commendable promptness, the Media Bureau has relieved virtually all television stations from the requirement to file ancillary/supplementary service reports, at least for this year and likely for future years as well. These reports are traditionally due on Dec. 1 of every year. As we reported back in October, the reports are the ones … Continue Reading

New Equipment Rules Take Effect

Changes to the equipment authorization rules the FCC adopted last July appeared in the Federal Register this morning and take effect today. Major changes include the option of putting required labeling on a device’s display screen, and combination of the former verification and Declaration of Conformity procedures into a new procedure called Supplier’s Declaration of … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcasting and Telecommunications Deadlines for November-January

Note our list is not comprehensive. Other proceedings may apply to you. Please do not hesitate to contact FHH if you have any questions.  November 13, 2017 – EAS National Test – Participants’ ETRS Form Three Due – All EAS participants must submit Form Three, which reports the results of the the national EAS test held on … Continue Reading

Ancillary/Supplementary Services Report and Public Notice Rule Face Regulatory Weed-Whacker

At its October meeting, the FCC proposed to clear away further regulatory underbrush by eliminating, or drastically modifying, two rules. The first is the requirement that all TV stations engaged in digital broadcasting file annual reports concerning Ancillary/Supplementary services that might have been offered. Second is the requirement that licensees filing certain applications publish and/or … Continue Reading

FCC Reduces International Carrier Reporting Requirements

On Oct. 24, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission released a Report and Order in which the agency reduced the reporting requirements (found under Section 43.62 of the FCC’s rules) for providers of U.S.-international telecommunications services. Specifically, the FCC eliminated the annual international Traffic and Revenue Reports and streamlined the Circuit Capacity Report filing requirements. The … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Proposed Order to Modify Media Ownership Rules

As expected, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai yesterday released his proposed Order modifying the FCC’s media ownership rules. Consistent with what he announced at an Oct. 25 House Energy and Commerce Committee FCC Oversight Hearing, the Order, if adopted, will allow nearly unrestricted television duopolies in almost every market, eliminate radio/TV cross-ownership restrictions, and abolish the Commission’s long-standing prohibition … Continue Reading

FCC Eliminates Broadcast Main Studio Rules, Related Staffing, and Program Origination Requirements; Controversial Order Passes Three-Two Along Party Lines

On Oct. 24, 2017, the FCC issued a Report and Order eliminating the Commission’s rule requiring each AM, FM, and television broadcast station to maintain a main studio located in or near its community of license (i.e. the Main Studio Rule). In the same Order, the FCC eliminated existing requirements that are associated with the … Continue Reading

EAS Report to SECCs Due Nov. 6

The FCC scored a legal victory in court this past week when the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld its requirement that EAS participants report to their State Emergency Communications Committee (SECC) their progress on developing multilingual EAS alerts (an SECC is a committee assigned to implement EAS in a specific state). EAS participants must … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Market-Based Changes to Toll Free Number Administration

On Sept. 28, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that seeks to permit the assignment of toll free numbers via alternative market-based approaches, including the auctioning of numbers. Furthermore, consistent with such a market-based approach, the Commission proposed the development of a secondary market allowing subscribers to reassign their … Continue Reading

Initial Reimbursement Allocations Announced for Repack Expenses

On Oct. 16, 2017, the Incentive Auction Task Force and the FCC’s Media Bureau jointly announced the initial allocation from the TV Broadcaster Relocation Fund (Relocation Fund) for the reimbursement of eligible full power and Class A television stations as well as multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) (Eligible Entities) impacted by the Incentive Auction. The … Continue Reading

Now Available: Online Public Inspection Files Webinar

With the March 1, 2018 Online Public Inspection File deadline for mid-sized and smaller market (and non-commercial) radio stations approaching, Fletcher, Heald, & Hildreth’s Frank Montero and Steve Lovelady recently presented a webinar to help industry professionals navigate through the online filing process. In collaboration with Colorado Broadcasters Association, Montero and Lovelady spoke on a … Continue Reading

Reminder: FREE Online Public Inspection Files Refresher Course Webinar

This is a reminder that tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 12th at 12:00 p.m. EDT, Fletcher, Heald, & Hildreth’s Frank Montero and Steve Lovelady in partnership with Colorado Broadcasters Association, will present a FREE webinar entitled “Online Public Inspection Files: A Refresher Webinar.” You can register for the webinar, for FREE, via this link. While 2017 isn’t … Continue Reading
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