Update: Effective Date of Ownership Report Revisions Set, Sort of

Commission’s Order makes it into the Federal Register, establishing deadlines petitions for reconsideration and/or judicial review as well as effective date of the underlying order – but what exactly will take effect on that date? Back in January we reported on the FCC’s latest attempt to craft the Perfect Broadcast Ownership Report for both the commercial and noncommercial industries. As a result, the RUFRN replaced the SUFRN; NCE licensees will be required to provide a “unique identifier” – … [Read more...]

Reminder: KidVid Reports Now Get Filed Through LMS

If you’re fixin’ to file your Children’s Television Report (FCC Form 398) for the first quarter of 2016 (and you should be – this year they’re due no later than Monday, April 11, for crying out loud!), don’t forget what we told you last February: the FCC has changed the filing portal for those reports, starting now. Instead of the old way (through a portal dedicated to KidVid), now you’ll have to log onto the Commission’s Licensing and Management System (LMS) and go from there. As we pointed out … [Read more...]

5G is Coming! Wait – What’s 5G?

New services promise exceptional performance. Just not everywhere. And not soon. After the successes of 3G and 4G mobile services, something called 5G was inevitable. It’s still a ways off, but the outlines are taking shape. The hallmark of 5G mobile service will be blindingly fast data speeds, possibly in the gigabit-per-second range, faster than most U.S. wired Internet services today, along with extremely short response times (“latencies”) measured in thousandths of a second. There will be a … [Read more...]

¿Es Esta Una Prueba?

FCC “grants” petition seeking mandatory foreign language EAS alerts by declining to impose mandatory foreign language EAS alerts; but some new reporting requirements are added How do you say EAS en español? Apparently, that’s something EAS participants won’t need to worry about anytime soon. The FCC has rejected a proposal that would have mandated the availability of emergency announcements in Spanish (and, in some places, other languages as well). But, presumably not wishing to seem like they … [Read more...]

Looking for Improved Public Image, FCC Reorganizes Office of Media Relations

Meet the new approach to media relations, definitely NOT the same as the old approach In a little heralded order, the Commission has announced a dramatic reorganization – and elevation – of the Office of Media Relations (OMR). Did we say OMR? Not anymore. From now on, it’s the BUREAU of Media Relations. Apparently concerned that the public face it is presenting is somewhat antiquated and bureaucratic, the Commission is looking to upgrade its image to appeal to the “elevated expectations” of an … [Read more...]

FCC’s Efforts to Expand Video Description May Spark Debate on Statutory Authority

By Jessica Nyman The FCC’s video description rules require covered broadcasters and MVPDs to provide audio-narration of the key visual elements of a program during pauses in the dialogue so as to make it more accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Under the current rules (which Congress in 2010 directed the FCC to reinstate after a court struck them down in 2000), broadcast stations affiliated with ABC, CBS, Fox, or NBC that are located in the top 60 television markets … [Read more...]

FCC Enforcement Monitor ~ March 2016

By Scott R. Flick, Jessica Nyman and Joseph A. Cohen Pillsbury’s communications lawyers have published FCC Enforcement Monitor monthly since 1999 to inform our clients of notable FCC enforcement actions against FCC license holders and others. This month’s issue includes: Noncommercial FM Broadcaster Fined $10,000 for Public Inspection File Violations TV Licensee Faces $20,000 Fine for Untimely Filing of 16 Children’s TV Programming Reports Man Agrees to $2,360 Fine for Using GPS Jamming Device … [Read more...]

April Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports and Much More

April brings the whole panoply of routine regulatory dates – from the need to prepare EEO Public File and Noncommercial Ownership Reports in some states, to Quarterly Issues Programs lists for all full-power broadcast stations and Quarterly Children’s Television Programming Reports for all TV stations.  So let’s look at some of the specific dates that broadcasters need to remember this coming month. On the first of the month, EEO Public Inspection File Reports should be placed in the Public … [Read more...]

Does the FCC Use the Online Public File to Spot Rule Violations? $20,000 Fine to TV Station for Late-Filed Children’s Television Reports Suggests it Does

In a Notice of Apparent Liability released yesterday, the FCC proposed to fine a TV station $20,000 for being late in the filing of 4 years of Quarterly Children’s Television Programming Reports (FCC Form 398). While the penalty is consistent with the size of penalties that the FCC has been imposing for similar violations in recent years (see our article here), the means by which the FCC apparently discovered the violation is what perhaps makes this case most interesting. The FCC states that it … [Read more...]

Amber Waives of Grain? FCC OK’s TVWS Down on the Farm

Companies granted waiver to deploy TV white space gear on farm equipment, farmhouses It happened again. Just when the lawyers thought they finally had a regulatory scheme that works, the engineers came up with a new idea that doesn’t fit. We recently wrote about this phenomenon in ultra-wideband technology, in an agricultural context. This time it’s TV White Space (TVWS) technology, once again on the farm. Historians and anthropologists tell us agriculture has been a major driver in … [Read more...]

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