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Children’s TV Reforms – Paperwork Reduction One Step Closer

The Federal Communication Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) released the much-discussed changes in its rules relating to children’s television programming on July 12, 2019 in a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making, which include a reduction in the frequency of filing Children’s Television reports and the information required in those reports, … Continue Reading

REC ‘N’ Roll in the FM Band: LPFM Changes Proposed, NCE-FM Changes Requested

Yes, REC Networks (“RECNET”) is on a roll with the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) when it comes to the FM radio broadcast band.  Describing itself as a “leading advocate for a citizen’s access to spectrum with a heavy focus on the LPFM and full-service non-commercial radio,” RECNET has succeeded in getting the FCC to propose … Continue Reading

Reminder: EAS National Test Scheduled for August 7

Unless it is delayed by a real national emergency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) and the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) are on track to conduct a combined nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Wednesday, August 7, at 2:20 p.m. EDT.  For most participants, this year’s test will be disseminated only using the broadcast … Continue Reading

Now Available: 2019 FCC License Renewal Webinar

On Tuesday, July 30th, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth’s Frank Montero and Dan Kirkpatrick presented a webinar on the FCC license renewal process to the Florida Association of Broadcasters. They covered many steps in the renewal process including the filing of the required FCC Forms for full power radio and translator stations using the new LMS … Continue Reading

Barreling Down the Road to 5G, FCC Votes to Relax EBS Spectrum Rules

On June 20, 2019, I blogged about the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) plan to vote on July 10 to relax the rules governing the Educational Broadband Service (“EBS”), including eliminating the requirement to devote part of the air time to educational purposes and opening up license eligibility to commercial entities. Sure enough, the FCC voted, … Continue Reading

FCC Makes Leased Access Rules More Cable Operator Friendly, Opens the Door to Eliminating Them

On June 7, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) released a Report and Order (“R&O”) revising the Commission’s rules under which independent programmers may lease cable TV channels to retransmit their programming (“Leased Access Rules”).   Leased Access has rarely been used, due to concerns by both cable operators and programmers, and the … Continue Reading

New Developments in Broadband – June

Capitol Hill We continue to expect that House Democrats will pass their “Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s America Act” (LIFT America Act) infrastructure proposal, however, any deal with President Trump on infrastructure remains on hold.  The House bill includes $45 billion in broadband funding – $30 billion in reverse auction funds to be administered by the … Continue Reading

Equal Employment Opportunity Mid-Term Report Form Elimination Now Official

Remember our article in February about the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) eliminating a requirement for certain broadcast television and radio stations to file a Broadcast Mid-Term Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Report (a/k/a Form 397)?  If you’re a regular CommLawBlog reader you might have noticed that fact in our monthly deadlines articles too. … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts New FM Translator Interference Complaint Procedures

On May 9, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) issued a Report and Order in which it adopted new procedures used to resolve interference complaints against FM translator stations.  We previously blogged about the proposed reforms to the complaint procedures in a May 21, 2018 article.  Sections 74.1203(a) and 74.1204(f) of the … Continue Reading

Restrictions to Be Lifted from Educational Broadband Service, as FCC Hunts for more Mid-Band Wireless Spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has released a tentative Report and Order, scheduled for a vote on July 10, which, if adopted, will lift many restrictions from the Educational Broadband Service (EBS), including allowing educational institutions to sell their licenses to commercial entities and eliminating the requirement that 5% of system capacity be reserved for … Continue Reading

EAS National Test Scheduled Earlier than Usual

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (“EAS”) on August 7th, at 2:20 pm EDT.  If conditions such as a real emergency or other unforeseen circumstances occur on the day of the test, a backup … Continue Reading

FCC Revises Procedures for Submitting Financial Information Regarding Repack Reimbursement

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) on June 4 released in a Public Notice streamlined financial information instructions for full-power/Class A TV stations receiving repack reimbursement that have changed their banking information or have sold or acquired an eligible station and need to transfer the banking information to the new owner. Eligible entities … Continue Reading

New Developments in Broadband – May

Broadband on Capitol Hill House Democrats have unveiled their $2 trillion dollar infrastructure package called the “Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s America Act” (LIFT America Act).  A House hearing was held May 22 with testimony from, among others, former FCC Commissioner Clyburn.  The legislation includes $45 billion in broadband funding: $30 billion in reverse auction funds to … Continue Reading

New Developments in Broadband – April

Broadband on Capitol Hill Although optimism for a broadband infrastructure spending bill this year is fading, it is still a possibility.  Senate Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Pelosi (D‑CA) plan met with President Trump today  to discuss infrastructure legislation.  Schumer recently said that an overall infrastructure plan (including broadband and traditional infrastructure such … Continue Reading

Now Available: “Navigating the Online Public Inspection File” Webinar

Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth’s Frank Montero, Steve Lovelady, and Dan Kirkpatrick recently presented a webinar about Online Public Inspection Files (OPIFs). The webinar, in collaboration with the broadcast associations of Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, and Tennessee in addition to the Public Radio Regional Organizations, covered a variety of topics, … Continue Reading

Radio Stations’ FCC License Renewal Cycle Starts Again

Has it been eight years already?  It’s hard to believe, but yes – the license renewal cycle for radio stations is about to start over again, with preparatory on-air announcements already in progress.  The TV cycle will start next year. In a Public Notice released today, The Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC” or the “Commission”) Media … Continue Reading

FCC Poses New Questions to Improve Secondary Market Spectrum Transactions

On March 15, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) released a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) seeking comment on how the Commission can improve its secondary market rules for spectrum transactions. Specifically, the FCC wants to know whether and how it can improve its secondary market rules to get more spectrum in … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Rules for Distributing Repack Funds to FM Stations and FM Translators

[Editor’s Note:  This is part 2 of a 2-part series.  Part 1, addressing repack funds for LPTV and TV Translator stations, is available here] As we reported in August 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”)  at that time released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking laying out how it would parcel out reimbursement funds … Continue Reading
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