Tag Archives: FCC

FCC Announces EEO Audits

On April 24, 2023 the FCC released its most recent list of broadcast stations that will be audited regarding their compliance with the FCC’s Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) rules. Licensees of the audited stations will have to upload their audit responses to their online public inspection files by June 8, 2023.  Approximately twice per year, … Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

Court Strikes Down a Portion of the FCC’s Foreign Sponsorship Identification Rules for Broadcasters

Earlier this year, new FCC rules went into effect requiring radio and television stations to broadcast Sponsorship ID disclosures for programming provided by foreign governmental entities.   Yesterday, the federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down one part of those requirements:  the requirement for broadcasters to independently confirm the sponsor’s status by consulting … Continue Reading

Selected New Developments in Broadband – January

Capitol Hill Although President Trump criticized the final $900 billion COVID-relief legislative package (containing both COVID-relief and an omnibus spending bill that averted a government shutdown) for providing too little financial relief to Americans and too much wasteful spending, on December 27 he signed the package into law.… Continue Reading

Now in Effect: FCC Repeals Radio Duplication Prohibitions

Back in August, we wrote about the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) decision to end the prohibition of commonly owned radio stations in the same service (AM or FM) that have 50% or more overlap of their primary service contours from duplicating more than 25% of their programming. Now that the decision is published in the Federal Register, it … Continue Reading

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
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