Peter Tannenwald

Peter Tannenwald Peter Tannenwald joined Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC, as a Member, after a 40-year career which included one of Washington's 10 largest law firms, where he was a partner, and more recently as a named principal of Irwin, Campbell & Tannenwald, P.C. In addition to a broad range of radio and television broadcast station groups and individual station owners and common carrier and wireless clients in both regulatory and transactional matters, he has represented inventors and developers of new technologies and has helped implement several such technologies, including wireless auditory assistance devices for persons with hearing loss, the use of AM broadcast stations for power utility load management, visual captions on television broadcasts, the Interactive Video and Data Service, compatibility of cellphones and hearing aids, and most recently combining television broadcast and broadband services in the same spectrum.

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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

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

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

LPTV-Translator Displacement and Companion Channel Freeze Lifted

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) has announced in a public notice on March 19, 2019, that it will lift the 9-year old freeze on applications for displacement relief and digital companion channels by Low Power Television and TV Translator stations (together, “LPTV”).  Applications will be accepted starting April 18, 2019. The new … Continue Reading

Deadline Announced for AM Revitalization Comments

Attention all you AM radio nostalgia buffs and others interested in the future of AM radio, who hopefully read our post of October 10 about the FCC’s proposals to allow higher power operation by smaller AM stations by reducing nighttime signal protection for 50 kW Class A AM stations.  The FCC’s proposals have been published … 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

What’s Next for AM Radio?

Late on Friday, October 5, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in a five-year ongoing effort to “revitalize” the AM radio broadcast service.  The new proposals continue a trend toward allowing higher power operation by smaller stations, by reducing nighttime signal protection for some 60 Class A AM … Continue Reading

LPTV/TV Translator Minor Change Freeze Lifted

The FCC has lifted the freeze on filing applications for minor changes in existing Low Power TV (LPTV) and TV translator stations, effective today, July 3. The freeze was lifted without advance warning, and applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. This process is different from the recent window for filing displacement applications … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Says Warrant Needed to Grab Cellphone Location Data

Just when you think you have a beat on the Supreme Court, they always seem to surprise you. Take the decision issued in Carpenter v. U.S., issued last Friday, June 22. The court held that a judicial warrant, based on probable cause, is required before law enforcement officials can call up your cellphone company and … Continue Reading

‘Leased’ Access or ‘Least’ Access? FCC Chucks 2008 Order and Asks What It Should Do Next

Requirements that cable television systems make a certain amount of channel capacity available for leasing to non-affiliated programmers have been in place since the time when George Orwell predicted that “Big Brother” would control the world – 1984. The leasing rules have never brought about an active leasing marketplace. The FCC is now taking another … Continue Reading

Above 95 – FCC Hits the Stratosphere

The FCC voted today to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order looking toward issuing licenses for frequencies above 95 GHz. That’s GigaHertz, not MegaHertz – way up there, beyond the highest frequencies that are commonly used today, at least by the private sector. Historically, frequencies this high were not considered useful for communication … Continue Reading

Noncommercial Stations Beware: When ‘Underwriting’ Spots Turn into Advertising, a Big Penalty Can Follow

Many noncommercial educational (NCE) stations – and their lawyers – were caught by surprise last week when the FCC issued a $115,000 civil penalty against an NCE licensee. The Cesar Chavez Foundation (CCF) was hit for running underwriting spots promoting for-profit entities. CCF agreed to the monetary penalty as part of an FCC approved consent … Continue Reading

ATSC 3.0 NPRM Adopted

The FCC has adopted its anticipated Notice of Proposed Rule Making looking toward allowing television broadcasters to transition from the present ATSC 1.0 technical standard to the new, recently developed ATSC 3.0 standard. ATSC 3.0 is Internet Protocol (IP) based and offers many potential benefits, including both multiple broadcast streams and non-broadcast IP services; but it … Continue Reading

Final Latch Secured On LPTV Freezer

The FCC has announced that effective immediately, it will no longer accept applications for construction permits for new digital companion channels filed by analog Low Power Television stations.  While this article refers to only LPTV stations, TV translators are subject to all the same rules and to the new freeze. This freeze removes the only … Continue Reading

Public File Political Requirements Clarified as Wheeler Administration Sunsets

On Friday, January 7, after the sun had set and the FCC’s doors were locked for the night, the agency released two decisions addressing complaints that a dozen TV stations did not provide sufficiently complete information about political advertising in their public inspection files during the 2016 Presidential campaign. That sounds kind of like a … Continue Reading

Alien Ownership: FCC Seeks Comment on “Streamlined” Review Process

Proposal would put other agencies on 90-day clock to complete review of possible national security issues. In an effort to facilitate foreign investment in U.S. common carrier and broadcast licensees, the FCC has proposed changes in the way it processes proposals involving reportable levels of foreign ownership. Historically, a major source of delay in the … Continue Reading

Attention: The New Anti-Collusion Rules Have the OMB Stamp of Approval

Short-circuiting conventional Paperwork Reduction Act requirements, the Office of Management and Budget has signed off on the strict auction-related rules just in time for the upcoming Broadcast Incentive Auction. The FCC’s Incentive Auction Report and Order, released June 2, 2014, included anti-collusion provisions forbidding– as of the close of the reverse auction application window (i.e., … Continue Reading
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