Final Latch Secured On LPTV Freezer The FCC has announced that effective immediately, it will no longer accept applications for construction permits for new digital companion channels filed by analog Low Power Television stations.  While this article refers to only LPTV stations, TV translators are subject to all the same rules and to the new freeze. This freeze removes the only … Continue Reading
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Releases Draft Framework for Analyzing Zero-Rated and Sponsored Data Programs On January 11, 2017, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB or Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) issued an informal report—“Policy Review of Mobile Broadband Operators’ Sponsored Data Offerings for Zero-Rated Content and Services”—that establishes a draft framework for reviewing mobile broadband providers’ sponsored data and zero-rated offerings and analyzes the zero-rated and … Continue Reading
Keeping Tabs on the Post-Auction TV Transition Progress FCC Releases Proposed Progress Report Form and Seeks to Require Non-Reimbursable Stations to Comply As the end of the Incentive Auction (hopefully) nears, the FCC has released additional information about the requirements and mechanisms for post-auction transition progress reporting by reimbursement-eligible stations, and has put out for comment a proposal to require similar reporting from … Continue Reading
The Winds of Change Blowing Through FCC Lately, there has been a lot of news about all the political jockeying at the FCC over who will stay and who will go, plus who must leave and who will be appointed. Will he or she be a Republican or Democrat?  Will the Democrats stay?  Wait….what?  Democrats stay?  Didn’t Trump win the election?  How can … Continue Reading
FCC Clarifies Lifeline Obligations for High-Cost ETCs In a brief Order released last Friday, the Wireline Competition Bureau clarified that recipients of high-cost funding were not required to create any standalone Lifeline-specific broadband service offerings. After the FCC issued the Lifeline Modernization Order in April 2016 there was some ambiguity regarding the obligations of ETCs receiving high-cost support from the federal USF. ... Continue Reading
FCC Clarifies Public File Obligations for Identifying Issues and Sponsors for Political Ads – Admonishes Numerous TV Stations for Violations Late Friday, the FCC’s Media Bureau issued an order (at this time available in Word format only, here) clarifying its public file rules for political ads – both ads from candidates and from third-party groups.  The FCC’s clarifications require broadcasters who run candidate or issue advertising to include information about not only the candidates mentioned… Continue Reading
Why FCC’s Media Bureau Approval of Increased Foreign Investment in Univision Should Interest You In a decision of interest to other broadcast owners, the FCC cleared the way on Tuesday for Televisa, a Mexican media conglomerate, to own a larger stake of U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster Univision (the Declaratory Ruling may be read here). The two companies jointly filed a Petition for Declaratory Ruling requesting that the agency permit foreign … Continue Reading
FCC’s Media Bureau Reaffirms NCE Ownership Reporting Requirements, Angers GOP Commissioners The (seemingly never-ending) saga of the FCC’s attempts to revise its biennial ownership reporting requirements for broadcasters has taken an interesting, and somewhat unexpected turn. As we have previously reported, the Media Bureau early last year adopted new requirements related to the FCC Registration Numbers  (FRNs) and “Restricted Use FRNs” (RUFRNs) that interest holders would … Continue Reading
FCC Continues TCPA Promotional Campaign With just under one month left in Chairman Tom Wheeler’s tenure, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has continued to publicize the agency’s focus on enforcing and increasing awareness of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  Most recently, Chairman Wheeler issued a statement on December 21, 2016 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the TCPA, in … Continue Reading