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FCC Chair Announces “Future of Television” Initiative and Shares Update on Next Gen TV Transition 

During her address today at the 2023 NAB Show, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel shared two developments in the Next Generation Television (“Next Gen TV” or “ATSC 3.0”) rulemaking.   The Future of Television Initiative   The Chairwoman introduced the Future of Television initiative (the “Initiative”), a private-public leadership group hosted by the NAB, dedicated to “develop[ing] a … Continue Reading

FCC Opens Rulemaking Proceeding to Implement the Low Power Protection Act’s Window for Eligible LPTVs to Apply for Conversion to Class A Designation

On March 30, 2023, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) seeking comment on the following proposed rules for a one-year filing window for eligible LPTV stations to apply for conversion to Class A designation:  Eligibility Requirements  The Commission proposes three eligibility requirements that LPTV stations must meet to apply for conversion to … Continue Reading

FCC’s Spectrum Auction Authority Expires

On March 9, 2023, the FCC’s spectrum auction authority expired for the first time since it was initially granted in 1993.  The authority enabled the FCC to auction spectrum when it received conflicting applications for a frequency in the wireless or broadcast services.    Under the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, the FCC’s spectrum auction authority … Continue Reading

FCC Implements New STIR/SHAKEN and Robocall Mitigation Rules

At the FCC Commissioners’ meeting on March 16, the FCC imposed new STIR/SHAKEN and robocall mitigation requirements on all providers, including intermediate providers and regardless of their STIR/SHAKEN implementation status.  All providers are now required to take “reasonable steps” to mitigate illegal robocall traffic and must submit a certification and mitigation plan to the Commission’s … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Telecom Deadlines

March 31  Supply Chain Annual Report – Providers of advanced communications services that purchased, rented, leased, or otherwise obtained covered communications equipment and services on the Covered List in 2022 must submit an annual report on or before March 31, 2023 covering information as of December 31, 2022.  The current version of the Covered List … Continue Reading

Gigi Sohn Withdraws as FCC Commissioner Nominee Leaving Commission Deadlocked

On March 7, 2023, Gigi Sohn, President Biden’s nominee to the Federal Communications Commission, withdrew following a bitter 16-month lobbying battle which blocked her Senate confirmation. Ms. Sohn was first nominated on October 26, 2021, but failed to receive a confirmation vote in the Senate. The White House renominated Sohn on January 3, 2023. From 2013 … Continue Reading

EEO Mid-Term Review Anticipated Starting May 2023

We remind radio licensees that Spring marks the mid-point of the current license term for some.  This mid-point is significant because it marks the beginning of the period during which the FCC will conduct mid-term reviews to determine compliance with EEO requirements for radio station employment units that employ 11 or more full-time employees. Even … Continue Reading

FCC Broadcast Filing Deadlines for April

April 1, 2023 Delaware or Pennsylvania Television License Renewal Applications Due – Applications for renewal of FCC licenses for television stations licensed to Delaware or Pennsylvania must be filed in LMS, the FCC’s online filing system.  Schedule 396 the Broadcast EEO Program Report must accompany these applications. EEO Public File Reports – All licensed full-service radio and television broadcast stations, … Continue Reading

Reminder – EAS Test Reporting System Filing Deadline February 28

This is a reminder that the FCC previously advised that parties that are Emergency Alert System (“EAS”) Participants, which would include not only virtually all broadcast stations, but also, wired and wireless cable television systems, Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service, and wireline video systems, must submit Form One filings for calendar year 2022 in the … Continue Reading

FCC Extends Deadline for January Online Public File Uploads and Other Filings

On Friday, January 27, the FCC further extended the deadline for entities to complete certain required Online Public Inspection File (“OPIF”) uploads and certain Licensing and Management System (“LMS”) filings. The new due date for these uploads will be February 28, 2023. On January 6, 2023, following wide reports of technical challenges impacting licensee’s ability … Continue Reading

FCC Broadcast Filing Deadlines for January and February

January 30, 2023 Children’s Television Programming Reports – Each commercial TV and Class A television station must electronically file its annual Children’s Television Programming Report, on FCC Form 2100 Schedule H, to report on programming aired by the station and other efforts in 2022 that were specifically designed to serve the educational and informational needs … Continue Reading

President Biden Renominates Sohn to FCC

After a drawn-out Senate battle last year which resulted in no confirmation, President Joe Biden has once again nominated Gigi Sohn for the fifth FCC Commissioner seat. Sohn, a former top FCC adviser, is also the co-founder of Public Knowledge, a non-profit advocating for copyright, telecommunications, and internet policies. If confirmed, Sohn would fill out … Continue Reading

FCC Online Public File Woes

As many of you are aware – especially those subject to the looming January 10th issues/programs list upload deadline – the FCC’s online public file system has been painfully slow or nonfunctional since the beginning of this year.  As a result, the FCC issued a public notice on Friday extending the time for uploading all … Continue Reading

Upcoming Deadlines

With the new year around the corner, it is that time of year when we start to fill out upcoming deadlines in our new calendars! Below find a list of the approaching broadcast deadlines to keep an eye on. January 10, 2023 Issues/Programs Lists – For all commercial and noncommercial radio, television, and Class A television … Continue Reading

EAS Test Reporting System Filing Deadline

The FCC advised December 15 that parties subject to the Emergency Alert System (EAS) rules (radio and television stations, wired and wireless cable television systems, digital broadcast systems, digital television broadcast stations, Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service, digital cable and digital audio broadcasting systems, and wireline video systems) must submit their annual Form One filings … Continue Reading

Federal Election Commission Adopts New Online Political Ad Disclaimer Proposal

On December 1, 2022, the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”) adopted a proposal to extend its disclaimer rules to certain types of digital advertising appearing on digital platforms in addition to websites. Before these new FEC rules become effective, they must be transmitted to the heads of both the House of Representatives and the Senate for … Continue Reading

Next Phase-in of Audio Description Rules Begins January 1, 2023

The Federal Communications Commission released a reminder that as of January 1, 2023, the audio description rules adopted in the Commission’s 2020 Audio Description Order will go into effect in the following designated market areas (“DMAs”): Madison Waco-Temple-Bryan Harlingen-Welasco-Brownsville-McAllen Paducah-Cape Girardeau-Harrisburg Colorado Springs-Pueblo Shreveport Syracuse Champaign and Springfield-Decatur Savannah Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City and Dubuque The … Continue Reading

If You Offer Internet Service, Your Speech is Now Highly Regulated by the FCC

In an order released on November 17, 2022, the FCC dictates in detail the specific words that an Internet service provider must use when communicating with its customers.  The FCC has adopted new rules requiring specific information (referred to as the broadband consumer label) to be displayed at the point of sale when offering mass-market … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks to Fill Challenging Gap in STIR/SHAKEN Robocall Defenses

The FCC Launches Formal Review of How to Bring Non-IP Phone Networks into Caller ID Authentication Ecosystem to Protect Consumers On October 27, 2022, the FCC released a Notice of Inquiry which launches a formal review to consider ways to improve the accuracy of robocall blocking and consumer warning tools for phone networks that are … Continue Reading

More Emergency Alert System Proposed Changes and Reporting Requirements

To accompany its recently adopted modifications to the requirements for the Emergency Alert System (“EAS”), the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to address the FCC’s ongoing concerns about operational readiness and the security of the EAS system from being acted or otherwise misused by bad actors. Comments on … Continue Reading

Emergency Alert System Required Changes

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) recently adopted modifications to the requirements for the Emergency Alert System (“EAS”), and the new rules will go into effect on December 12, 2022.  Fortunately, however, EAS participants, which include most radio and television stations, have one year, until December 12, 2023, in which to make the necessary changes to … Continue Reading

FCC Publishes Draft of National Broadband Map: Challenge Process Officially Begins

On November 18th, the FCC published a draft of the long-awaited updated National Broadband Map.  This version of the map shows the availability of fixed and mobile broadband as reported by internet service providers (“ISPs”) as of June 30, 2022.  This map endeavors to improve upon the FCC’s broadband data collection via Form 477, which … Continue Reading

FCC Fines Gray Television for Violation of Ownership Rules

This week, the FCC issued a Forfeiture Order imposing a penalty of over $500,000 against Gray Television, Inc. for violating the FCC’s rule prohibiting ownership of two top-four television stations in the same Nielsen Designated Market Area (DMA).  Gray acquired the CBS network affiliation for KTVA(TV), Anchorage, Alaska, and the FCC found that this action … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Deadlines

December 1, 2022 Television License Renewal Applications Due – Applications for renewal of license for television stations located in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island must be filed in LMS. These applications must be accompanied by Schedule 396, the Broadcast EEO Program Report, also filed in LMS, regardless of the number of … Continue Reading
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