FCC Publishes Tentative Agenda For March 17th Open Meeting

Media Law Prof Blog

The FCC has published the tentative agenda for its March 17th open meeting. Among the items the FCC plans to discuss at this point: Improving the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts Consideration of Two National Security Matters (unidentified

FCC Approves Fourth Set of COVID-19 Telehealth Program Applications

Media Law Prof Blog

The FCC has approved another set of COVID-19 telehealth program applications. More information about the telehealth program, including prior FCC program application approvals, here Text here.

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FCC Application Fees Going Up

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC yesterday released an Order announcing its adjustments to its application fees for commercial broadcasters and other FCC licensees. cost of living increase in the processing fees that are paid when broadcasters file an application with the FCC. So, if you are planning an FCC application that will be filed a few months from now, pay attention to the effective date of the new fee schedule to avoid having your application bounced for paying an incorrect fee.

FCC Establishes First Two Innovation Zones

Media Law Prof Blog

From an FCC press release: FCC ESTABLISHES FIRST TWO INNOVATION ZONES New York City & Salt Lake City Projects Empower Advanced Wireless Technology and 5G-Ready Network Experimentation -- WASHINGTON, September 16, 2019—The Federal Communications Commission today announced the creation of

FCC Adopts Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Review EEO Rules

Broadcast Law Blog

When the FCC initiated its most recent EEO audits , we mentioned that the Commission was planning a rulemaking to review the effectiveness of its EEO rules for broadcasting and multi-channel video operators. The FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking to review these rules has now been released. EEO Compliance/Diversity FCC EEO audit FCC EEO enforcement FCC Form 397 EEO mid-term report

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FCC Pulls Controversial Set-Top Box Proposal From Meeting Agenda

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler says rules reshaping access to TV programming will remain under consideration, but that the FCC needs to resolve technical and legal issues. read more. THR, Esq. The Business Television Tech Business THR Online

FCC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: One-Ring Scam Calls

Media Law Prof Blog

The FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the matter of one-ring scam calls. One-ring scams are annoying and pernicious, waking up many Americans with confusing calls in the middle of the night and tricking them out of

FCC general counsel responds to Comcast decision

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The FCC's top lawyer has taken to the agency's blog to respond to yesterday's big appeals court ruling shooting down the FCC's authority to regulate "net neutrality" on the Web. Tags: FCC Austin Schlick says he's "assessing the implications" of the decision.

Transfer of FCC EEO Branch from Media Bureau to Enforcement Bureau Now Effective

Broadcast Law Blog

In July, we wrote about the FCC’s plan to transfer the responsibility for EEO enforcement f rom the Media Bureau, where it has resided, to the Enforcement Bureau which the FCC suggested would have more resources and experience to aggressively enforce the FCC’s EEO rules and policies. That transfer was effective on Friday (see the FCC public notice here ).

FCC: Robocaller Should Pay Nearly $13M Fine For Illegal, Spoofed Robocalls

Media Law Prof Blog

The FCC has suggested that Scott Rhodes, whom the agency has named as a robocaller who placed "unlawful, spoofed robocalls to target a community grappling with the recent murder of a local woman, threaten a journalist and newspaper, and attempt

US Attorneys and FCC Combine to Shut Down Pirate Radio Station

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC yesterday issued a News Release about an unusual action taken by the US Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts entering into a consent decree with a pirate radio operator, where the operator agreed to surrender all of its operating equipment to the FCC, and to stop broadcasting illegally. This shows what the FCC and the Department of Justice can already do to stop illegal pirate radio operators.

FCC May Hold January Open Meeting By Conference Call, Without the “Meat”

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC by law is required to hold a monthly public meeting but, when the bulk of its employees are furloughed, it is difficult to meaningfully adhere to that obligation. The FCC announced earlier this week that it would go ahead with its January 30 meeting but, if the lapse in appropriations continues through January 29, it will conduct that meeting by conference call, rather than live as is routine.

Another FCC Broadcast Case Designated for Hearing – With Much Different Stakes

Broadcast Law Blog

Yesterday, the FCC issued a hearing designation order – though one with much lower stakes than the last designation order issued by the FCC which seemingly resulted in the termination of the proposed Sinclair-Tribune merger. Issues were raised as to whether the licensee in its FCC applications lied to the FCC about whether its board of directors was made up of US citizens – there being substantial evidence that the board members were in fact citizens of other countries.

FCC Fine for Premature Construction of Radio Station – Don’t Construct New Facilities Without FCC Permission

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC has for decades prohibited the “ premature construction ” of broadcast stations – constructing new stations or new facilities for existing stations prior to the issuance of an FCC construction permit. But, last week, the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability proposing to fine an LPFM station licensee $5000 for making changes in its station without prior FCC approval of its pending construction permit application.

FCC Issues Draft Proposal To Revoke Rule Requiring Physical Copy of FCC Rules at All Broadcast Stations

Broadcast Law Blog

We yesterday wrote about Chairman Pai’s promise to start the process of modernizing media regulation by abolishing a simple but outdated rule – one requiring that each broadcast station have a physical copy of the FCC rules on the station premises. Yesterday, the FCC released a draft of their Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to implement that change in the rules. AM Radio FCC Fines FM Radio General FCC Television FCC rulesbook at station Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative

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

Broadcast Law Blog

Do you have a deal to buy a new station or a planned technical modification that needs FCC approval? Well, it looks like those plans may have to wait as the budget controversy in Washington has shut down the FCC. The FCC clarified some of the questions broadcasters have in a Public Notice released Wednesday. So for those stations needing FCC approvals for actions relating to the repacking of the TV band, the FCC will be functioning.

FCC Votes to Repeal Net Neutrality Rules

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The next stop will be a courtroom as the media regulatory agency retreats from prohibiting ISPs from blocking and throttling content. read more. THR, Esq. Business Tech Business THR Online

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

Broadcast Law Blog

All of those January dates that we wrote about here have been extended by an FCC Public Notice released yesterday until at least Wednesday, January 30 (except for the deadlines associated with the repacking of the TV band which were unaffected by the shutdown). So Quarterly Issues Programs lists should be added to the online public file by January 30, and Children’s Television Reports should be submitted by that date if they have not already been filed with the FCC.

FCC Will Vote On Net Neutrality Thursday Despite Protests (Analysis)

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

FCC Business The passage will begin a long process of comments and rewrites before there is a final vote, followed by the inevitable court challenges. read more. The Business THR Online THR, Esq.

Overpower FM Translator Prompts $12,000 FCC Fine

Broadcast Law Blog

In an Order released earlier this week , the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau imposed a $12,000 fine on the licensee of an FM translator in California because FCC inspections revealed that the translator was operating above its licensed power. The FCC found that the station was operating with a Transmitter Power Output of 7.5 The power output cannot exceed 105% of what is authorized on the license (See Section 74.1235(e) of the FCC Rules).

Update: Comment Dates Set on FCC Proposal to Abolish Requirement for Paper Copies of FCC Rules

Broadcast Law Blog

The comment dates have now been set on the FCC’s proposal to abolish the requirement that licensees of certain classes of broadcast stations (including translators and auxiliary stations) maintain a paper copy of the FCC rules. FM Translators and LPFM General FCC FCC rule book Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative

Comcast sues FCC over P2P network regulation

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Last August, FCC chairman Kevin Martin came down hard on Comcast after the company took steps. Tags: FCC Litigation By Eriq Gardner Comcast is suing the Federal Communications Commission, challenging the government agency's authority to regulate how ISPs thwart customers using peer-to-peer networks.

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FCC Commissioner O'Rielly's Statement on the Sinclair/Tribune HDO

Media Law Prof Blog

FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly's statement on the Sinclair/Tribune Hearing Designation Order (HDO

FCC Releases Draft Order to Abolish FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report

Broadcast Law Blog

Along with the draft NPRM we wrote about yesterday to consider changes to the FCC’s rules for granting new construction permits for noncommercial stations and LPFMs, the FCC last week issued another draft order to be considered at its January 30 meeting, assuming that the partial government shutdown has been resolved and the FCC has returned to normal operations.

FCC Net Neutrality Repeal Challenged in Court

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Among the petitions filed Tuesday is one from 21 state attorney generals. read more. THR, Esq. Business Television Tech Business THR Online

FCC to Shake Up Media Ownership Rules

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

The media agency is widely expected to eliminate many local market regulations at a meeting next month. read more. THR, Esq. Business Television Business THR Online

Judge Won't Let FCC's Net Neutrality Repeal Stop Lawsuit Alleging Charter Throttled Netflix

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Rejecting a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by New York's attorney general, a judge notes how the FCC said that states "continue to play their vital role in protecting consumers from fraud." read more. THR, Esq. Business Television Tech Business THR Online

FCC Announces New Round of EEO Audits for Radio Companies

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC yesterday issued a Public Notice announcing its second EEO audit for 2015. Letters to just over 100 radio (no TV stations were included in the current audit) went out on June 12 asking for evidence of their compliance with the FCC’s EEO rules. In yesterday’s notice, the FCC released the form audit letter and list of stations that will be audited. Responses from the audited stations are due to be filed at the FCC by July 27.

Another EEO Audit Released – Looking at the FCC’s Current EEO Obligations

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC yesterday released another of its regular EEO audit notices ( available here ), asking that approximately 80 radio stations, and the employment units with which they are associated, provide to the FCC (by posting the information in their online public inspection file) their last two year’s EEO Annual Public File reports , as well as backing data to show that the station in fact did everything that was required under the FCC rules.

FCC Enforcement Coming over Alleged Privacy Violations for Disclosure of Consumers’ Geolocation Data

New Media and Technology Law

On January 31st, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai transmitted a letter in response to a prior inquiry from a number of House members regarding the status of the Commission’s investigation into reports that the major wireless carriers were allegedly disclosing consumers’ real time geolocation data to data aggregators. Mobile Privacy data aggregators data brokers FCC enforcement mobile geolocation data

The FCC and Online TV Services

Media Law Prof Blog

The National Journal on growing resistance to the FCC's plan to regulate online TV services

FCC Issues Fines For Misuse of Emergency Alert Tones

Media Law Prof Blog

The FCC has fined three different networks for misusing the emergency alert tones in conjunction with broadcast. It hit ABC with a $395,000 penalty for use of the tones on the Jimmy Kimmel show during an October 2018 comedy sketch

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FCC Regulatory Fees Due By September 26

Broadcast Law Blog

The FCC late yesterday released an Order setting the amount of FY2017 Annual Regulatory fees, along with a public notice setting September 26 as the deadline for those fees. But the amounts of the fees for various classes of broadcasters were set by the FCC’s Order also released yesterday. However, the FCC was not able to come up with a definitive source for such information, leaving that issue to be examined in the future.

FCC Starts First EEO Audit of Radio and TV Stations for 2019 – And Announces Upcoming Review of its EEO Audit and Enforcement Program

Broadcast Law Blog

On Friday, the FCC issued its first EEO audit of almost 300 radio and TV stations across the country (see the model audit letter and list of stations affected here ), the day after announcing its intent to abolish the Form 397 EEO Mid-Term Report (see our articles here and here ). If that cluster has 5 or more full-time employees, it must observe the FCC’s EEO requirements and respond to this audit.

Consent Decrees Remind Broadcasters to Seek FCC Approval for Corporate Changes – Even When Control Does Not Change

Broadcast Law Blog

Last week, the FCC released a Consent Decree where a broadcast company admitted to certain unauthorized transfers of several stations , even though actual control of the stations, for the most part, did not change. Stock of the company was transferred into a trust by the company’s shareholder without FCC approval, even though the shareholder continued to control the station until his death approximately a decade later.

FCC Will Examine Potential Changes to Broadcast Indecency Regulation

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

Television FCC Business The government agency wants to hear about how it should police isolated curse words and nudity on public broadcast airwaves. read more. The Business THR, Esq.

A Call to Regulate E-Cig Advertising – What is the FCC’s Role in Regulating Advertising For the Vices?

Broadcast Law Blog

In recent months, there have been many calls to regulate e-cigs , and potentially to regulate the marketing of all sorts of vaping products , including a call last week by an FCC Commissioner in an op-ed article in USA Today. And those advertisements bring us frequent questions about whether the FCC has rules about advertising these products. So far, the FCC has had no real role in regulating these products. Could the FCC itself do more?

Michigan Radio Station Gives Up FCC License

Media Law Prof Blog

Lake Isabella/Mount Pleasant, Michigan, radio station WRAX-FM has surrendered its license to operate to the FCC, before the agency held a scheduled hearing on whether the station's license should be renewed. The FCC scheduled that hearing on August 3.

Bill Introduced in Congress to Repeal FCC Information Collection Requirements for Noncommercial Biennial Ownership Reports

Broadcast Law Blog

A bill was introduced in Congress this week (see press release here ) proposing to roll back the FCC’s requirement that noncommercial broadcasters, in connection with the Biennial Ownership Reports that are due by December 1 of this year, get an FCC Registration Number for every person who has an attributable interest in a noncommercial licensee.

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Update – FCC Concludes that the Colbert Broadcast Did Not Violate FCC Indecency Rules

Broadcast Law Blog

When press reports first started to emerge that the FCC was investigating for possible indecency violations a Stephen Colbert bit from his Late Show television program suggesting that the President had engaged in certain sex acts with the Russian President, we wrote that the controversy was much ado about nothing (see our article here ). According to press reports , the FCC has concluded the same thing and terminated their review of this case.

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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Renews Commitment to 'Open Internet' Rules

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

FCC Tech Business After a court decision throwing out anti-blocking and anti-discrimination rules, the media regulatory chief says he will be asking his fellow commissioners to come up with new standards and guidance for broadband providers. read more. The Business THR Online THR, Esq.

FCC v. Fox Broadcasting Transcript

Media Law Prof Blog

Here's a link to the transcript of oral argument in FCC v. Fox Broadcasting. Link courtesy of SCOTUSBlog

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FCC Votes "Blackout Rule" Out

Media Law Prof Blog

From the Hollywood Reporter: The FCC has voted unanimously to end the "blackout" rule that has allowed the NFL to prohibit broadcasts of pro football games locally if seats remain unsold on the day of the game. The NFL had

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