Tag Archives: Federal Communications Commission

Annual Employment Report Requirement For Broadcasters and MVPDs Back in Effect

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has published a notice in the Federal Register that the requirement to file an Annual Employment Report is effective immediately.  This requirement — entailing the filing of an FCC Form 395-A for multichannel video programming distribution systems (MVPDs) and an FCC Form 396-B for broadcasters — was adopted years ago, … Continue Reading

Commenters Debate FCC Proposals on Ownership Reporting

Interested parties have filed comments at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding proposed changes to the requirements for ownership reports.  In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released in January, the FCC asked for comment on several issues related to the ownership reports filed by broadcast licensees and by others with attributable interests in licensees. Among … Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: FCC Considers Relocating Spectrum for Wireless Medical Devices in Repacking of Broadcaster Spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission sought comment, in connection with the incentive auction and repacking process reported in previous posts, on whether to relocate wireless medical telemetry service (“WMTS”) users from the 608-614 MHz spectrum band, known as Channel 37, or allow unlicensed devices to coexist with WMTS on Channel 37.  The proposal elicited comments by … Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: 3 Key Areas of Industry Agreement Regarding the FCC’s Spectrum Auction and Repacking Proposals

The Federal Communications Commission received over 300 comments from the public regarding its proposals to allow broadcast television stations to voluntarily participate in an auction of their spectrum to mobile broadband providers and to involuntarily repack remaining television stations into a smaller television spectrum band.  Broadcast television station groups, individual stations, mobile broadband providers, wireless … Continue Reading

FCC Reminds Wireless Service Providers of Jan. 15, 2013, Hearing Aid Compatibility Report Deadline

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently issued an enforcement advisory reminding wireless service providers and resellers that they must report on their compliance with the hearing aid compatibility rules by January 15, 2013.  Under FCC rules, most wireless service providers must offer consumers a minimum number of hearing-aid compatible phones or other handsets.  The purpose … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Requiring Emergency Information On Secondary Audio Stream

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently proposed requiring that when broadcast television stations or cable/satellite companies display emergency information visually during non-news programming, they must provide the same information aurally on a “secondary” audio stream.  When viewers tune to a channel, they ordinarily hear the primary audio stream; the secondary audio stream can be used to provide … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Rules to Promote Expansion of Low-Power FM Stations

An order adopted by the Federal Communications Commission at its Nov. 30 open meeting will allow schools, tribal nations, and other community groups to apply to operate new low-power FM (LPFM) radio stations starting in the fall of 2013. LPFM stations, which cover much smaller areas than full-power stations, are intended to promote highly local … Continue Reading

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to Issue Decision in Long-Running LPFM Proceeding

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that at its upcoming open meeting, which will take place on November 30, it will issue an order in its proceeding on low power FM radio translators.  You can see the agenda here.  This is another step in a years-long proceeding to implement the Local Community Radio Act … Continue Reading

Spectrum Watch: FCC Holds Broadcaster LEARN Program Workshop

On Friday, October 26, 2012, the Federal Communications Commission held its first workshop as part of its Learn Everything About Reverse-Auctions Now (“LEARN”) Program — a series that seeks to provide broadcasters guidance on the incentive auction process by which the FCC will reallocate a to-be-determined amount of broadcast television spectrum in the 600 MHz … Continue Reading

FCC Sets Comment Cycles for Additional Petitions Seeking to Clarify TCPA Provisions

In follow up to our previous blog entry on the subject, comment deadlines were set for additional petitions seeking to clarify TCPA provisions and related FCC rules.  Comments on these Petitions are due on November 23, 2012, and reply comments are due on December 10, 2012. The Westfax Petition asks the FCC to clarify whether … Continue Reading

Spectrum Watch: UK Completes Digital Television Transition, With Plans to Auction Freed Up Spectrum for 4G Services Within a Year

This week the United Kingdom completed its five-year transition from analog to digital broadcast television operations.  The switch to digital has allowed broadcasters in the UK to offer more channels and high-definition television services to the public.  In addition, the transition freed up spectrum that the UK government will auction for fourth generation (4G) mobile broadband services in … Continue Reading

Telemarketing Recap: Recent Key Developments at the FCC, FTC and in the Courts

A number of key developments affecting telemarketing emerged over the past week: 1.  The distinction between informational and telemarketing calls was further defined.  The 9th Circuit held that calls intended to impart information about a customer rewards program could be construed as “dual purpose” calls subject to federal and state telemarketing restrictions.  See Chesbro v. … Continue Reading

Wireless Carriers Meet First Deadline on Anti-“Bill Shock” Alerts

The Federal Communications Commission announced Wednesday that U.S. wireless carriers are on track to meet voluntary commitments they made one year ago to provide alerts that help customers avoid unexpectedly high bills. Under a voluntary agreement announced by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in October 2011, members of CTIA-The Wireless Association agreed to provide free, automatic … Continue Reading

Spectrum Watch: A Closer Look at the FCC’s Proposed Rules for First-Ever Incentive Auction and Repacking of Broadcast Spectrum

As we reported previously, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Matter of Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions (“NPRM”), along with an accompanying paper by auction specialists Auctionomics and Power Auctions. In this post, we describe the proposed rules for the incentive … Continue Reading

FCC Allows All-Digital Cable Systems to Encrypt Basic Tier

Cable systems that have converted to all-digital transmission will be allowed to encrypt their basic-tier programming, the Federal Communications Commission decided last week. The FCC on Friday released its full Report and Order, which explained the decision and outlined transitional protections for existing subscribers who might be affected. Background  Previously, FCC rules prohibited cable operators … Continue Reading

Spectrum Watch: FCC Releases Agenda for October 26th Reverse Auction Workshop

 The FCC today released details for its October 26th Broadcaster Learn Everything About Reverse-Auctions Now (“LEARN”) Program Workshop, to be held in the Commission Meeting Room at the FCC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. and webcast live at www.fcc.gov/live.    The workshop is the first in a series that seeks to provide broadcasters guidance on the incentive … Continue Reading

Marking the One-Year Anniversary of the USF/ICC Transformation Order

In just under a year since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued the USF/ICC Transformation Order setting forth major reforms to its telecommunications funding and compensation systems, the multi-year reform process continued amidst judicial and regulatory challenges. This post examines how these reforms evolved over the last year through modifications to the Order clarifying various … Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: FCC Initiates Review of Mobile Spectrum Holdings Policies

Tomorrow, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will publish comment deadlines for its recently-released Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that begins the process of reviewing its policies regarding the allocation of mobile spectrum.   The full text of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is available here.  While the simultaneous adoption of proposed rules for an incentive auction of … Continue Reading

FCC Updates Online Public File System for TV Broadcasters

The Federal Communications Commission has announced the addition of several new features to its online public inspection file system for TV broadcasters. The new features allow stations to upload documents such as Annual EEO Public File Reports, lists of ownership-related contracts and agreements, and supplemental materials related to applications, authorizations, and EEO investigations. The FCC’s … Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: FCC Initiates Incentive Auction Rulemaking

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the full text of its widely-anticipated proposed rules for an incentive auction of television spectrum and broadcast “repacking” process that will accompany the auction.  (The FCC had voted to adopt these proposed rules on Friday, but had not released the text until yesterday.)  The proposed rules address three … Continue Reading

mHealth Moving Forward

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski announced this week that he expects the FCC to release two orders on mobile healthcare technologies (mHealth) by the end of the year.  This announcement relates to the release this week of a report by the mHealth Task Force that made a number of recommendations with respect to … Continue Reading

Broadcasters, Public Interest Groups Urge FCC to Consider Increased Foreign Investment

On Friday, a coalition of national broadcast networks, radio and television station licensees, and community and consumer organizations filed a letter asking the Federal Communications Commission to clarify that it will no longer employ a presumptive ban on foreign investment above 25% in the parent companies of broadcast licensees.  The Coalition for Broadcast Investment (the … Continue Reading

FCC Requests Comments on Petition for Reconsideration Regarding Commercial Volume Rules

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has requested comments on a Petition for Reconsideration concerning the FCC’s commercial volume rules.  These rules, which implement the 2010 Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (“CALM”) Act, require television broadcasters, digital cable operators, and other digital multichannel video programming distributors to follow a technical standard that is designed to prevent television advertisements from being transmitted at louder volumes … Continue Reading

FCC Extends Online Closed Captioning User Control Mandate Until January 2014

On Friday, the FCC’s Media Bureau issued a decision that extends until January 1, 2014 the deadline for all online video programming distributors (“VPDs”) to implement user controls in connection with their delivery of Internet Protocol closed captioning.   Prior to this decision, VPDs that provide applications or plug-ins in order to deliver video programming had … Continue Reading
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