FCC’s Heller Explains How Cable Operators Can Go Paperless

Also discussed issues regarding the repack and ATSC 3.0 to Independent Show crowd July 27, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS—Cable operators may soon be going completely paperless as a result of some future FCC regulations. As part of the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s interest in reducing or eliminating rules and regulations that are no longer necessary, Martha Heller, chief of the FCC’s Media Bureau Policy Division, spoke at the 12th Independent Show, produced by the American Cable Association and the National Cable Television Cooperative, just how these stations will be able to eliminate paper in favor of digital.

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Martha Heller

The FCC is expected to allow cable operators to use email to send out annual notices to consumers, subject to certain safeguards; to post full-time job openings on the internet only, without violating the commission’s Equal Employment Opportunity rules; and to withhold headend locations from physical public files. The FCC, per Heller, is also taking recommendations from stakeholders with their recommendations on how to update media regulations.

In addition, Heller took the time to provide an update on the incentive spectrum auction. Currently, cable operators need to file Form 399 to seek financial reimbursement for cost incurred as a result of modifications to broadcast facilities.

Heller spoke as part of a panel at the Independent Show, on which she joined Scott Friedman of Cinnamon Mueller and Michael Nilsson, a partner at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis. Ross Lieberman, ACA’s senior vice president of regulatory affairs, moderated the panel, which also discussed ATSC 3.0, retransmission consent and the Sinclair Broadcasting-Tribune TV station merger as it relates to local and national TV station ownership limits.

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