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FCC Commences Review of Media Ownership Rules

On December 12, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) commencing the 2018 Quadrennial Review of the Commission’s media ownership rules.  The FCC is required under Section 202(h) of the Communications Act to review most of its broadcast ownership rules every four years to determine whether … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts TCPA Changes that Include (Very Limited) Safe Harbor

On December 12, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) adopted an order that creates a reassigned number database to help callers avoid Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) violations that can occur when telephone numbers get reassigned to new users. We covered some of the details in a previous CommLawBlog post when the FCC pre-released … Continue Reading

FCC Eliminates Posting of Broadcast Licenses

Two years into Ajit Pai’s chairmanship, a central theme at the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) is deregulation. Sometimes framed in terms of “modernizing media rules,” the topic is at the forefront of just about every proceeding.  This was true for one of the most recent decisions at the Commission, as a Report and … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for December/January/February

December (the most wonderful time of the year) often carries with it a sense of retrospection.  We start looking back on the year that was, compiling “Best of” lists, tying up loose ends, getting those last donations and expenses in under the wire. Of course, there’s also plenty of forward-looking at what the new year … Continue Reading

Legitimate Robocallers Rejoice: TCPA Compliance is About to Get (Slightly) Easier

Believe it or not, there are companies that make legitimate “robocalls,” and those companies strive to comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). If you’ve received an appointment reminder from your doctor or dentist, a package delivery notification, or a school closure notification lately those messages were likely delivered to your phone using an … Continue Reading

Now Available: 2018 FCC EEO Rules Webinar

With FCC license renewals fast-approaching and public inspection files now all on line, it is time to seriously review and assess your FCC EEO compliance (….that is before the FCC does it for you!).  In collaboration with the Colorado Broadcasters Association and the New Jersey Broadcasters Association, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth’s Dawn King, Anne Crump, … Continue Reading

FCC to Radio Licensees: We’re Watching You (or at Least Your Public Files)

With the whirl of the holiday season upon us, most broadcasters rightly thought they could put off looking ahead to the next license renewal cycle until 2019. Au contraire, says the FCC, which began sending out blast emails to certain radio licensees on December 6, warning that FCC internal audits have revealed that many stations’ … Continue Reading

Bipartisan TRACED Act Seeks to Reduce Robocalls

Before Thanksgiving, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced legislation aimed at decreasing the number of unwanted robocalls. The TRACED Act would expand FCC authority under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), empower the FCC to mandate call authentication rules for voice service providers to cut down on caller ID spoofing, and create an interagency working … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for November/December

Let’s play some word association. If we say “Deadlines”, you might answer “Scary.”  Hence, the reason we’re publishing our November and December FCC deadlines post on Halloween.  Only, unlike the ghouls and goblins you may see on the streets tonight, these are real! Please note that the list is NOT exclusive, so there may be others. … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes LPTV and FM Repack Reimbursement Schedule

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has invited comments on a “catalog” of categories and amounts it thinks are reasonable for reimbursement of expenses incurred by low power TV (“LPTV”) stations as a result of involuntary channel changes imposed by the post-incentive auction repacking of the TV spectrum. Congress initially appropriated funds to reimburse costs incurred … Continue Reading

C Band Receive Only Earth Stations Application Filing Window Extended

The FCC has extended the filing deadline for the C band receive only earth stations applications to October 31, 2018.  In a Public Notice, the FCC decided to extend the filing deadline (which was October 17, 2018) due to difficulties experienced with the International Bureau Filing System (IBFS) which prevented some applicants from filing for license … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Telecom and Broadcast Deadlines for Fall 2018 (October/November/December)

Deadlines!  Get your deadlines here!  With summer in the rearview mirror, it’s time to get back to work and look ahead to the rest of the year.  Here’s a list of FCC-related broadcast and telecom deadlines. Please note that the list is NOT exclusive, so there may be others. For help meeting these deadlines or … Continue Reading

FCC Acts to Speed 5G Rollouts

In a much ballyhooed action on September 26, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) took another stride in its effort to clear away regulatory and administrative obstacles to 5G cell site construction via the issuance of a Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order in a proceeding titled “In the Matter of Accelerating Wireless … Continue Reading

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
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