FCC National Broadband Plan - What It Suggests for TV Broadcasters Spectrum

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC today released its National Broadband Plan to Congress, and in it spelled out its suggestions for the future of television. Facilitating the deployment of ubiquitous, dependable wireless broadband service is identified as a fundamental goal of the Commission’s proposals. The authors of the Commission’s report have viewed the problems experienced by some wireless broadband providers in major markets as indicative of a coming shortage in wireless capacity.

FCC Rejects Request by Low Power Television Broadcaster to Test Technology to Enable Broadband Service Over Broadcast Spectrum

Broadcast Law Blog

Last week the FCC rejected a request by a low power television broadcaster seeking an experimental license to test a technology that would allow broadcast television stations to provide broadband access. As has been well known and discussed for at least the last decade, the ATSC standard chosen for digital television broadcast service in the United States is not ideal for mobile service and is not well suited for two-way broadband service.

Hollywood Docket Top 5: FCC broadband plan; pawn shop expose; 'Project Runway' effect

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The FCC might expand its regulatory scope with an ambitious "National Broadband Plan." It seeks to increase access to the Internet but also includes provisions on competition rules, the video set-top market, broadcast spectrums and more. Here's an overview of.

As Broadcasters Return From NAB Convention, FCC Extends Date for Comments on Policies Leading to Repurposing TV Spectrum for Broadband

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC has granted a one week extension for reply comments in the proceeding looking to take many of the preliminary steps toward incentive auctions by which the FCC would reclaim parts of television spectrum for use by wireless broadband companies. The broadcast community wanted the opportunity to respond to digest and respond to these discussions, thus the need for the brief extension.

Broadcast Auxiliary Channels for TV Pick-Ups to be Partially Repurposed for Broadband Backhaul

Broadcast Law Blog

Microwave frequencies used by television stations for their TV Pick-Ups for the transport of programming, and by cable systems for their CARS relays, were the subject of an FCC order last week looking to repurpose these frequencies to provide backhaul for wireless broadband and other telecommunications uses. Our firm's Broadband Law Advisor Blog summarizes this order and the request for further comments in this proceeding.

Washington Issues for TV Broadcasters – Where Things Stand at the FCC

Broadcast Law Blog

There is never a shortage of Washington issues for broadcasters to consider, and the rapid pace of change since the new administration took over in January has made it even more difficult to track where all the issues stand. While we try on this Blog to write about many of the DC issues for broadcasters, we can’t always address everything that is happening. Every few months, my partner David O’Connor and I update a list of the legal and regulatory issues facing TV broadcasters.

FCC Wants More Wireless Broadband from TV Spectrum - Congress and the White House Get In on the Action

Broadcast Law Blog

While it's summer in Washington and things should slow down, the discussion of the need for wireless spectrum for broadband, and the related question of whether to reclaim television spectrum for that use, continues unabated. This week, the FCC released a new report finding that between 14 and 24 million Americans have no access to broadband , and finding that a disproportionate number of those people are in rural areas.

February Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – EEO Reports, Webcasting Proceeding, FCC Meeting and Other Issues

Broadcast Law Blog

These are the royalties paid to SoundExchange by webcasters – including broadcasters who stream their signals on the Internet and through other digital platforms (see, for instance, our article here about how these royalties include streams played by Alexa and other smart speakers). There will no doubt be other important dates both to broadcasters generally and to specific stations.

Congress Authorizes FCC Incentive Auctions to Clear Part of Broadcast TV Spectrum for Wireless Broadband Users - The Details of the Legislation

Broadcast Law Blog

While most trade press reports have reported on these statements and the very general outlines of the legislation, few have looked closely at the provisions that apply to the broadcaster auctions. So Congress ordered the President to identify certain Federal spectrum that could be made available for wireless users, and also authorized the FCC to conduct auctions of broadcast spectrum, but under the very specific guidelines set out below.

February Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters

Broadcast Law Blog

Unlike many other months, there are not many comment filing deadlines for broadcasters in the month. For a list of some of the dates for the LUC periods, and the other regulatory dates that are coming up, please review our Calendar of Important Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters, available here. Other legal issues that broadcasters should keep in mind during the month include the cautions about last-minute Super Bowl promotions , about which we wrote here.

FCC Shuts Down Because of Government Funding Impasse – What Does It Mean for Broadcasters?

Broadcast Law Blog

But what does the shut-down really mean for broadcasters? The FCC clarified some of the questions broadcasters have in a Public Notice released Wednesday. Unlike in past shutdowns (see, for instance, our article here), the FCC website will remain up and generally will be operating, and the CDBS and LMS databases used for most broadcast applications will continue to function (though without any sort of tech support if an applicant has problems).

FCC Freezes Channel Changes By Digital TV Stations While Evaluating Reallocation of Television Spectrum for Broadband Use

Broadcast Law Blog

In another example of how seriously the FCC is considering the reallocation of portions of the TV spectrum for wireless broadband use , the Commission today issued a Public Notice freezing any new petitions for changes in the channels of television stations. Yet, as the FCC is looking at implementing its plan to recapture portions of the television spectrum for use by wireless broadband, this freeze has now been adopted.

FCC Wants More Wireless Broadband from TV Spectrum - Congress and the White House Get In on the Action

Broadcast Law Blog

While it's summer in Washington and things should slow down, the discussion of the need for wireless spectrum for broadband, and the related question of whether to reclaim television spectrum for that use, continues unabated. This week, the FCC released a new report finding that between 14 and 24 million Americans have no access to broadband , and finding that a disproportionate number of those people are in rural areas.

Summaries of the Legal Issues Facing Radio and TV Broadcasters – Staying on Top of Your Regulatory Obligations

Broadcast Law Blog

Each quarter, my partner David O’Connor and I update a list of the legal and regulatory issues facing TV broadcasters. If you are trying to keep on top of all the other legal and regulatory issues TV broadcasters should be considering this fall, or if you are looking for the current status of specific proceedings potentially impacting TV broadcasters, check out our most recent updated summary, here. Of course, there are issues that radio broadcasters face as well.

May Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – License Renewal Activities and Lots of Comment Dates

Broadcast Law Blog

While May is one of those months with no other regularly scheduled regulatory filing deadlines, it is full of other FCC deadlines including comment dates in several proceedings of importance to broadcasters. One of the FCC proceedings with comment dates in May is the proposal to allow AM broadcasters to, at their option, convert to full-time digital operations. Under this proposal, some broadcast fees, particularly for radio, will be going up.

May Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Incentive Auction, ATSC 3.0 and Broadcast Deregulation

Broadcast Law Blog

But, just because there are none of these regular filings due, that does not mean that the month will be a quiet one for broadcasters on the regulatory front. What exactly this means is open to some question, as all TV stations can already offer some non-broadcast services through the excess capacity provided by their digital channel. The capacity to expand their offerings of non-broadcast services is one of the benefits for TV broadcasters advanced by advocates of the new ATSC 3.0

September Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters: EAS Test, Reg Fees, Lowest Unit Rates, Incentive Auction Stage 2

Broadcast Law Blog

While we didn’t do it early, we actually have not missed the many regulatory deadlines and important dates about which broadcasters need to take note this month. Several are of particular importance for virtually all broadcasters. As we wrote here and here , Annual Regulatory Fees for all commercial broadcasters are due by September 27. These, of course, are but the highlights of the deadlines that face broadcasters this month.

June Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – License Renewal, EEO Reports, Reg Fee Comments, Ownership Appeal Argument and More

Broadcast Law Blog

The license renewal cycle, about which we have been warning broadcasters for at least the last year (see, for instance, our posts here , here and here ), is now upon us. The FCC’s June meeting is light on broadcast matters. To look ahead at some of the other upcoming deadlines, see our Broadcaster’s Calendar, here.

Our Quarterly Review of the Legal and Regulatory Issues Facing TV Broadcasters

Broadcast Law Blog

Each quarter, my partner David O’Connor and I update a list of the legal and regulatory issues facing TV broadcasters. So if you are wondering what legal and regulatory issues TV broadcasters should be considering this summer, or are looking for the current status of any proceeding potentially impacting TV broadcasters, check out our most recent updated summary, here.

Reclaiming Over-the-Air TV Spectrum for Wireless Broadband Use - What Will the Budget Super Committee Decide?

Broadcast Law Blog

The battle over the reclamation of television spectrum for wireless broadband rages on, and some in the television industry fear that the future of over-the-air television may be sacrificed to Congressional attempts to reduce the Federal deficit. The most fundamental issue for broadcasters is how deeply any channel cuts would go. Broadcasters, on the other hand, are concerned about how any such auction would really work.

February Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – TV Renewals, EEO Reports, Lots of TV Incentive Auction Activity, OTT MVPD and Contest Comments, and Last-Minute January Deadlines for Webcasting

Broadcast Law Blog

As in any month, February has many impending deadlines for broadcasters and media companies – many routine regulatory obligations as well as some that are specific to certain proceedings. A guide to many of the regular FCC filing deadlines can be found in our Broadcasters Calendar available here. In February, all sorts of activities are planned around the broadcast incentive auction. And we can always expect other actions to arise that will be of relevance to broadcasters.

November Regulatory Dates For Broadcasters – Incentive Auction, EAS, Political and More

Broadcast Law Blog

November is one of those few months where there is a very light load of routine regulatory filings for broadcasters. Of course, there are several other dates that broadcasters need to be aware of. Once the FCC’s Broadcast Incentive Auction for television has concluded, the FCC will announce two windows for new FM translators. Broadcasters and others have an obligation to file test result data electronically through the FCC’s new Electronic Test Report System (ETRS).

The Debate Continues Over Using TV Spectrum for Wireless Broadband - Incentive Auctions, International Considerations, Deficit Reduction, and Public Safety All Play a Role

Broadcast Law Blog

The debate over repurposing some of the television spectrum for wireless broadband have been raging over the normally quiet Washington summer, as issues as diverse as the budget negotiations, the tenth anniversary of 9-11 and international treaties all play their part in the discussions. The FCC has been pursuing the idea of repurposing some of the television spectrum for wireless broadband use since well before the Broadband Report was issued last year.

FCC Legal Issues for Broadcast Engineers - A Presentation to the Michigan Broadcasters

Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast engineers are often tasked with much of a station's regulatory compliance, as well as its planning for the future. At last week's Michigan Association of Broadcasters Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference , I did a presentation to the a session of broadcast engineers and others, sponsored by the local chapter of the Society of Broadcast Engineers. Our checklist for the commercial broadcaster's public file can be found here.

What Washington Has in Store for Broadcasters in 2015 – Part 1, What’s Up at the FCC

Broadcast Law Blog

Each year, at about this time, we pull out the crystal ball and make predictions of the issues affecting broadcasters that will likely bubble up to the top of the FCC’s agenda in the coming year. But here is our try at listing at least some of the issues that broadcasters should expect from Washington in the coming year. In addition, watch these pages for our calendar of regulatory deadlines for broadcasters in the next few days. General Broadcast Issues.

Washington Issues for TV Broadcasters – Where Things Stand at the FCC

Broadcast Law Blog

There is a new FCC under the leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai, which now has to deal with the many legal issues facing broadcasters. Each quarter, my partner David O’Connor and I update a list of the legal and regulatory issues facing TV broadcasters. And watch for our predictions of what will be coming from Washington in the coming year for both radio and TV broadcasters in the next few days.

May Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Incentive Auction, Comments on EAS, ATSC 3.0 and Set Top Boxes

Broadcast Law Blog

May is one of those off months in which there are not the kind of routine filings that pop up in most other months – no EEO Public File Reports, no quarterly issues programs lists or children’s television reports, no Biennial Ownership Reports for noncommercial stations (which will soon disappear anyway when noncommercial stations transition to the same biennial report deadline as commercial broadcasters – see our articles here and here ).

October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Many Routine Filings for All Broadcasters, Incentive Auction Actions, and More

Broadcast Law Blog

October is one of those months where the regulatory stars align, when not only do broadcasters in many states have EEO Public File report obligations, but also Quarterly Issues Programs Lists need to be placed in the public files of all commercial and noncommercial stations, and Quarterly Children’s Television Reports need to be filed at the FCC and placed in the public files of television stations.

December Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – EEO Reports, Ownership and Ancillary Revenue Reports, Ownership Review and Incentive Auction Updates

Broadcast Law Blog

While we are into the holiday season, that does not stop the routine regulatory obligations for broadcasters. A year from now, on December 1, 2017, all broadcast stations are expected to be required to file Biennial Ownership Reports, including noncommercial stations which now have those reports due on the anniversary date of the filing of their license renewal applications. A fee is due if they received revenue from non-broadcast sources.

Digital Media Issues for Broadcasters and FCC Issues Discussed At Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Convention

Broadcast Law Blog

Everyone needs a guide to the legal is sues that you may face as broadcasters move their content to new platforms. At the Convention of the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters , held in Oklahoma City on March 18-19, David Oxenford conducted a seminar on Legal Issues for Broadcasters Operating in a Digital World – dealing with legal issues that broadcasters need to take into account when moving their content and presence beyond their over-the-air signals.

April Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Including Quarterly Issues Programs and Children’s Television Reports; Comments In Proceedings Including One on Digital Auxiliaries; and More Incentive Auction Seminars

Broadcast Law Blog

This is an obligation for all full-power broadcast stations – commercial or noncommercial. In addition to these routine filings, there are comments due on a number of FCC rulemakings of interest to broadcasters. Comments in the proceeding to determine how to assign FCC Identification Numbers to attributable owners of broadcasters for purposes of the Biennial Ownership Report (summarized here ) are actually due at the end of this month (March 30), but reply comments are due April 13.

What’s Up for Broadcasters in Washington Under the New Administration – A Look Ahead at TV and Radio FCC Issues for the Rest of 2017

Broadcast Law Blog

But there are many other broadcast issues that are unresolved to one degree or another – and potentially new issues ready to be discussed by the FCC this year. We usually dust off the crystal ball and make predictions about the legal issues that will impact the business of broadcasters earlier in the year, but we have waited this year to get a taste for the changes in store from the new administration. General Broadcast Issues. Foreign Ownership of Broadcast Stations.

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July Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, Incentive Auction Actions, CRB Webcasting Closing Argument and More

Broadcast Law Blog

One date of importance to some TV broadcasters was yesterday – July 1 – when TV stations affiliated with one of the Big Four TV networks and located in the Top 60 TV markets need to be carrying at least 50 hours of prime time or children’s programming each quarter containing video description. These are but some of the issues for July on the always busy regulatory calendar for broadcasters.

FCC Authorizes Mobile DTV Receivers Without Analog Tuners - Further Signals of the End of Analog LPTV, and Raises Questions of Recapture of TV Spectrum for Broadband

Broadcast Law Blog

This signal is being tested now to allow television broadcasters to provide mobile programming in addition to their current over-the-air broadcast signals - a service planned for commercial roll out at the end of the year. One interesting note is that the success of this service will make it more difficult for the Commission to reclaim television spectrum for broadband use.

March Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Preparing for License Renewal Tops the List

Broadcast Law Blog

March is one of those unusual months in the broadcast regulatory cycle, where there are no routine EEO public file obligations, and no quarterly filing obligations or other regularly scheduled regulatory deadlines. But, starting next month, there will be a whole new set of deadlines about which broadcasters need to be concerned, as April 1 is when the first pre-filing announcements for broadcast license renewals will begin , signaling the start of the 3-year long radio renewal cycle.

September Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Including Reg Fees, Nationwide EAS Test, Must-Carry Letters, Lowest Unit Rate, Translator and Repack Deadlines and GMR License Extension

Broadcast Law Blog

Summer is coming to an end, but the legal obligations never take a vacation, and September brings another list of regulatory deadlines for broadcasters. While the month is one of those without the usual list of EEO Public File obligations or quarterly FCC filing obligations, there still are a number of other regulatory deadlines for which broadcasters need to be prepared.

FCC Freezes Applications for New LPTV and TV Translator Stations While Contemplating How the Broadband Plan Will Affect the TV Spectrum

Broadcast Law Blog

Last week, we wrote that the FCC is going ahead with a rulemaking looking at how broadband needs may require some reallocation of the TV spectrum to wireless uses. Finding that much of the demand for new translators has been met in these rural areas in the intervening period, the FCC has now determined that, until the spectrum needs for television and broadband are more certain, it would not accept any more applications for these stations.

On Its 20th Anniversary, Looking Back at How the Telecommunications Act of 1996 Changed the Broadcast Regulatory Landscape

Broadcast Law Blog

Five years ago, we noted the changes that the Act made in the broadcast regulatory world – changes that are still being debated 20 years later. There, I talked about some of the changes made in 1996 in the broadcast ownership rules that were still being debated in 2011, and suggested that they might be resolved by the review of the multiple ownership rules that was then about to begin.

FCC Authorizes Mobile DTV Receivers Without Analog Tuners - Further Signals of the End of Analog LPTV, and Raises Questions of Recapture of TV Spectrum for Broadband

Broadcast Law Blog

This signal is being tested now to allow television broadcasters to provide mobile programming in addition to their current over-the-air broadcast signals - a service planned for commercial roll out at the end of the year. One interesting note is that the success of this service will make it more difficult for the Commission to reclaim television spectrum for broadband use.

October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, EEO Obligations, Noncommercial Biennial Ownership Reports, and Incentive Auction Comment Deadlines

Broadcast Law Blog

Another month has started – and it is one with regulatory dates for broadcasters. All broadcasters, commercial and noncommercial, have an obligation to complete their Quarterly Issues Programs lists and place them into their public inspection filed by October 10. Probably the most meaningful comment deadline for broadcasters is the October 31 deadline for comments on the proposed Post-Incentive Auction Repacking plan for TV stations, released by the FCC last Friday.

What’s Up in Washington For Broadcasters in 2014? — Part 1, FCC Issues

Broadcast Law Blog

It is the beginning of another year – and a time to look ahead to look ahead at what broadcasters should expect from Washington in the coming year. In addition, watch these pages for our calendar of regulatory deadlines for broadcasters in the next few days. Issues unique to radio and TV, and those that could affect the broadcast industry generally, are addressed below. General Broadcast Issues.

September Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Annual Regulatory Fees; Nationwide EAS Test; Comment Dates on FM Translator Interference, Audio Competition, Children’s Television Requirements, and Reimbursement for LPTV and FM Repacking Costs; and More

Broadcast Law Blog

While September is one of those months with neither EEO reports nor Quarterly Issues Programs or Children’s Television Reports, that does not mean that there are no regulatory matters of importance to broadcasters. Quite the contrary – as there are many deadlines to which broadcasters should be paying attention. That agenda should be released next week, and we will see what broadcast items may be on it just in time for the Radio Show at the end of the month.

August Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – New Fees, EAS Registration Requirement, EEO Obligations and More

Broadcast Law Blog

As we enter the last full month of summer, when many are already looking forward to the return to the more normal routines of autumn, regulatory obligations for broadcasters don’t end. Even if you are trying to squeeze in that last-minute vacation before school begins or other Fall commitments arise, there are filing deadlines this month, as well as comment deadline in an FCC proceeding dealing with broadcasters’ public inspection file obligations.