FCC Eliminates Broadcast Paper Filing Requirement

WASHINGTON--In its now familiar monthly regulation weed-whack, the FCC has voted, in this case unanimously, to approve a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) eliminating the requirement that broadcast stations file paper copies of contracts with the FCC.

It must still vote a final order after the public weighs in, but it will almost certainly be approved then, too.

The FCC has been requiring broadcasters, radio and TV, to affirmatively mail or hand-deliver copies of certain contracts and documents, but that requirement dates from the 1930's.

The NPRM concludes that the FCC should rely on the existing rules that require stations to retain copies in their own files and provide them on request.

See also: NAB Backs FCC Push to Eliminate Hard Copies of FCC Rules

The item was the fifth in FCC chairman Ajit Pai's Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative, whose goal is to "reduce unnecessary regulation that can impede competition and innovation in media markets."

This article originally appeared in Broadcasting & Cable.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio WorldTV TechTV FaxThis Week in Consumer ElectronicsVariety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.