Tag Archives: FCC

FCC Proposes Ten Application Limit for New NCE Stations in 2021 Filing Window

In correspondence with members of Congress, Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairman Ajit Pai had signaled that an application filing window for new Noncommercial Educational (“NCE”) stations would be opening sometime fairly soon. In a Public Notice (“PN”) released October 19, the FCC confirmed that a filing window will be coming. The specific dates of the … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts STIR/SHAKEN Rules to Combat Illegal Robocalls

The Federal Communications Commission recently released a Report and Order (“Order”) to promote the use of the STIR/SHAKEN framework (which we wrote a useful primer on) in combatting caller ID spoofing. The FCC is giving carriers until June 30, 2021 to implement STIR/SHAKEN. However, if a carrier wants to receive exemption from the Caller ID … Continue Reading

FCC Announces 2020 Regulatory Fees Calculation, No Widespread Forgiveness for COVID-19 Pandemic

On August 31, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) released its Report and Order (Order) establishing new methodologies for calculating 2020 annual regulatory fees, which are due September 25, 2020. In the Order, the FCC flatly rejected arguments by the National Association of Broadcasters and others that the FCC’s new calculation methodology … Continue Reading

O’Rielly Re-nomination Dismissed

In a rare move this week, Commissioner Michael O’Rielly – a Republican – had his re-nomination to the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) rescinded by President Trump. O’Rielly’s re-nomination first stalled last week when Oklahoma Republican Senator James Inhofe, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, put it on hold over objections to an FCC decision allowing … Continue Reading

Now Available: 2020 Politcal Broadcasting Rules Refresher

On July 30, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth attorneys, Frank Montero and Dan Kirkpatrick, along with the FCC’s political programming experts, Bobby Baker, Gary Schonman, and Sima Nilsson, discussed the requirements and latest developments in the FCC’s political broadcasting rules, including equal time, lowest unit rates, PAC ads, BCRA, and record keeping.… Continue Reading

127,000 More Reasons to File Proper FCC Applications When Your Company Goes Through Bankruptcy

Recently, we published an article regarding a Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Consent Decree where a company agreed to pay a $240,000 penalty for violating the FCC’s rules by engaging in transactions where FCC wireless licenses were transferred without filing for and obtaining the prior consent of the FCC.… Continue Reading

Getting to the Bottom of the Recent Rural Health Care Funding Announcement

Last month the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) ordered the carry-forward of $198 million in Rural Health Care (RHC) funding for use in 2020.  Seems like good news, but it depends on how you look at it.  But note this action simply makes the funding available — it does not waive or increase the RHC caps for 2020. … Continue Reading

FCC Revises Cable TV Leased Access Rate Formula and Appears to Invite a First Amendment Challenge

In an Order released today, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) revised the calculation of maximum permissible rates for cable TV commercial leased access by changing from a formula that sets a uniform rate for all cable tiers to a formula that will set a separate rate for each tier. The result may … Continue Reading

FCC Pressed to Expand Local Origination on FM Translators and Boosters

A group of 24 radio broadcast licensees has petitioned the FCC to expand the concept of localized program content beyond FM boosters and to allow localized origination by FM translators as well. On April 24, 2012, and April 13, 2020, we blogged about a proposal by GeoBroadcast Solutions, LLC, (“GeoBroadcast”) to allow FM radio stations … Continue Reading

No National Test this Year for FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert & Warning System

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) has announced that it will not conduct a national test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (“IPAWS”) via the broadcast Emergency Alert System (“EAS”) and Wireless Emergency Alert (“WEA”) system this year. As we have written about in the past, EAS tests are sometimes postponed due to … Continue Reading

Comment Deadlines Established for Relaxation of DTS Restrictions

On April 2, 2020, we wrote about proposals by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to relax restrictions on Distributed Antenna Systems (“DTS”) for full-power television stations and to make DTS newly available to Class A and Lower Power Television stations. The proposals have now been published in the Federal Register, establishing deadlines for Initial Comments on June … Continue Reading

“Sweeps” Are Under the Rug: FCC Seeks Comment on New Metrics to Establish Significant Viewership

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has invited comments on it’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) on whether it should update its rules that determine whether a television broadcast station is “significantly viewed” in communities outside of its Designated Market area (“DMA”) for purposes of carriage on Multichannel Video Program Distribution (“MVPD”) systems, both cable and … Continue Reading

Effective Date of Truth-in-Billing Statute Deferred

Last year, a new law, the Television Viewer Protection Act of 2019 (“TVPA”), was enacted, requiring Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (“MVPDs”) and providers of fixed broadband services to disclose all charges that a consumer will have to pay before he or she signs up for service.  The statute requires compliance by June 20, 2020, but … Continue Reading

FCC Continues Fines for Improper Use of EAS Signals

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) remains consistent in its enforcement of fines for the improper use of Emergency Alert System (“EAS”) tones.  On April 7, 2020, the Commission released a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (the “Notice”) proposing to levy a $20,000 fine against Entercom License, LLC (Entercom) station WNEW-FM for … Continue Reading

FCC Waives Sponsorship Identification for Sponsored COVID-19 PSA’s

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has announced a waiver of broadcast sponsorship identification requirements concerning air time donated by commercial advertisers for public service announcements (“PSAs”) provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and other government agencies addressing the COVID-19 emergency.… Continue Reading

You May Get Some More Robocalls, Thanks to COVID-19 – But Maybe Not So Much

On March 25, 2020, we blogged that the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) had issued a Declaratory Ruling under the Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), that the coronavirus pandemic constitutes an “emergency” which invokes a statutory exception permitting certain kinds of robocalls to be made and texts sent without the consent of the recipient.  Since that date, … Continue Reading

STIR/SHAKEN – Dial Another Day

With the new James Bond film delayed until the end of the year, the FCC has something to tide everyone over: STIR/SHAKEN – the SIP-based caller ID authentication process. Last year, Congress passed the Traced Act, which required the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to require caller ID authentication within 18 months of the Traced Act’s … Continue Reading

Dates Announced for Comments on Regulation of RF Emissions in Higher Frequency Bands

On January 9, 2020, we blogged about a Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) decision resolving many of the issues that it had been considering with respect to limits on exposure of human beings to radiofrequency (“RF”) energy. The FCC also invited comments as to whether it should extend its regulation of RF emissions from the present … Continue Reading

Update: Comment Deadlines Available for Proposal to Drop Cable TV Public File Reports of Interest in Video Programming Services

On March 16, 2020, we wrote that the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has proposed to eliminate the rule that requires cable television systems to post in their online public inspection file (“OPIF”) information about the nature and extent of their attributable interests in video program services and which of those services they own are carried on … Continue Reading

FCC Extends Some April Broadcast Deadlines in Light of COVID-19

In a Public Notice released today, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) announced extensions to certain April deadlines for broadcasters: Children’s Television Annual Report As discussed in our previous CommLawBlog post on the subject, the first annual Children’s Television Report (covering the period from September 16, 2019-December 31, 2019) was already extended to a March 30 … Continue Reading

FCC to Stations: Giving Away Spots Doesn’t Necessarily Have to Cost You When Candidates Come to Buy Time

One of the outcomes of the COVID-19 crisis – according to reports from many radio and televisions stations – has been a precipitous drop in spot sales and customers cancelling existing advertising contracts, leaving lots of airtime to fill. To fill that time, and to help other struggling businesses, some broadcasters have responded by offering … Continue Reading
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