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FCC Proposes to Reaffirm its Limitations on the Authority of Local Cable Franchise Authorities

The FCC will vote this month on whether to consider adopting a set of rulings that would limit the authority of cable local franchise authorities (LFAs) in the franchising and regulation of cable systems in response to a recent court case that threatens to expand LFA authority over cable systems and their diverse service offerings. … Continue Reading

Reminder: EAS National Test Scheduled for Sept. 20, But Don’t Use EAS Tone Outside Test

Unless it is delayed by a real national emergency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the FCC are on track to conduct a combined nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 2:20 p.m. EDT. Should you decide to air any news coverage or … Continue Reading

FCC Activates DIRS for Hurricane Florence; Postpones DIRS Exercise

The FCC issued a Public Notice activating its Disaster Information Reporting Service (DIRS) as Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm, is set to make landfall in the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic regions causing catastrophic flooding, high winds, and heavy rains. Broadcasters and other communications providers in those regions are encouraged to voluntarily supply certain filings with … Continue Reading

FCC Proceeding on C Band Use and Receive Only Earth Stations Moves Forward; Comments Due Oct. 29

The Commission issued an Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the proceeding relating to the use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz band. As we’ve previously written, the Commission has been considering allowing the use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz band (known as the C band) by mobile broadband. The C-band is currently … Continue Reading

Comment Deadline Set for NPRM on Rules for Distributing Repack Funds to LPTV, TV Translator, and FM Stations; Comments due Sept. 26

As we reported last week, the FCC has proposed new rules to distribute the funds allocated under the Reimbursement Expansion Act (REA). These funds are to be used to reimburse broadcasters that were involuntarily affected by the post-incentive auction repacking of television stations. Under the REA and the proposed rules, FM radio stations and LPTV … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Rules for Distributing Repack Funds to LPTV, TV Translator, and FM Stations; Part II: FM Stations

(Editor’s Note: If you’re looking for information on LPTV and TV Translators review Part One here.) Back in March 2018, Congress passed the Reimbursement Expansion Act (REA), which allocated additional funds to be used to reimburse broadcasters involuntarily affected by the post-incentive auction repacking of television stations. In addition to providing additional money for full-power … Continue Reading

DIRS Exercise Happening This Week (Aug. 23-24)

On Aug. 15 many broadcast stations received an e-mail from the FCC regarding a Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) exercise scheduled for later this week: Aug. 23-24. The DIRS keeps track of the status of both broadcast and non-broadcast communications facilities during natural disasters, including whether a facility is operating, the availability of electric power, … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Rules for Distributing Repack Funds to LPTV, TV Translator, and FM Stations; Part I: LPTV and TV Translators

Back in March 2018, Congress passed the Reimbursement Expansion Act (REA), which allocated additional funds to be used to reimburse broadcasters involuntarily affected by the post-incentive auction repacking of television stations. In addition to providing additional money for full-power and Class A stations, the REA for the first time expanded the universe of stations eligible … Continue Reading

EAS and WEA National Tests Scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 20; ETRS Form 1 due Aug. 27

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the FCC have announced Thursday, Sept. 20 at 2:20 p.m. EDT as the scheduled date and time for this year’s annual nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). (Note that unlike the past two years, the scheduling date is on a Thursday, not a Wednesday as some … Continue Reading

FCC Streamlines Pole Attachment Rules to Promote Broadband Deployment

On Aug. 3 the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling which streamlined pole attachment procedures and preempted state and local laws regulations, and policies imposing a moratoria on telecommunications deployment. The FCC’s actions seek to speed the process and reduce costs associated with new utility pole attachments to facilitate broadband … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Telecom and Broadcast Deadlines August 2018

Do you know what FCC telecom and broadcast deadlines are approaching? We do. Time to mark up your calendars so you’re not late on these important deadlines. Call FHH at (703) 812-0400 if you have trouble meeting these deadlines or need assistance. Telecom Deadlines: August 3, 2018 – Quarterly 911 Live Call Data Reports – Nationwide CMRS … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Uniform Formal Complaint Procedural Rules

After decades of handling formal complaints using no less than three different sets of rules, the FCC has finally adopted uniform procedures that generally apply to all formal complaints filed with the Commission. Alongside Chairman Ajit Pai, Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr praised the measure to get formal complaints all under one roof. However, … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Upholds FCC Reinstatement of UHF Discount

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today dismissed challenges to the FCC’s April 2017 decision to reinstate the UHF Discount. That discount allows broadcast television station owners to count only 50 percent of households served by UHF stations when calculating a station’s compliance with the FCC’s national ownership cap, which limits … Continue Reading

FCC Announces the Next Step in Licensing Next Generation TV

When the FCC released its Next Gen TV Report and Order in November 2017, we wrote about how this authorized television broadcasters to use the “Next Generation” broadcast television transmission standard (also known as ATSC 3.0) on a voluntary, market-driven basis. The rules from that Order became effective on February 2, 2018, except for the … Continue Reading

Comment Deadline Announced for FM Class C4 Inquiry

We wrote on June 10 that the FCC has launched a Notice of Inquiry looking toward the creation of a new “C4” class of FM broadcast station in areas outside the Northeast and Southern California, with an effective radiated power (ERP) limit of 12 kW.  These stations would have more power than Class A stations, … Continue Reading

REPUBLICATION: FCC Announces Extension of Filing Window to Oct. 17, 2018 for C Band Receive Only Earth Stations

CommLawBlog Update: On Saturday, July 7 a CommLawBlog post was republished due to a website error. The republished blog post entitled, “July 18 Filing Deadline Approaching for FSS Receive Only Earth Stations in the 3.7-4.2 GHz C Band” said that a filing deadline was approaching for all FSS Receive Only Earth Stations in the 3.7-4.2 … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Telecom and Broadcast Deadlines July–August 2018

Do you know what FCC telecom and broadcast deadlines are approaching? We do. Time to mark up your calendars so you’re not late on these important deadlines. Call FHH at (703)812-0400 if you have trouble meeting these deadlines or need assistance. Telecom Deadlines: July – No scheduled reporting/ certification deadlines for this month. August 1, 2018 – … Continue Reading

Major Kid Vid Revisions Coming Soon… as the FCC Releases a Draft NPRM

When FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly published a blog post back in January that called for the reexamination of the Children’s Programming Requirements, we questioned whether the requirements would still exist in the near future. We can now report that we are not likely to see the complete demise of the FCC’s Children Programming Requirements (colloquially … Continue Reading
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