FCC Seeks to Update Reporting, Notification Requirements

WASHINGTON—A new proposal from the FCC aims to reduce regulatory burdens on broadcasters with an update to two rules.

The first update would allow broadcasters to notify the public of license applications through the internet, rather than through newspapers and over-the-air announcements, as required under the current rule. The FCC is also seeking comment on whether its broadcast application public notice rule should be eliminated.

The FCC has also proposed to no longer require certain TV broadcasters to file annual reports about ancillary or supplementary services. These are services that some broadcasters provide using their spectrum in addition to their over-the-air television programming, like subscription video and data transmission services. The proposal would require broadcasters that earn revenue from the provision of ancillary or supplementary services—which would require a fee payment to the FCC—to file annual reports. This is consistent with the FCC’s responsibility to report to Congress annually on the amount of fees collected from those broadcasters, per the commission.

The FCC describes these proposals as part of its Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative.

These Notice of Proposed Rulemakings were approved by Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioners O’Rielly, Carr and Rosenworcel. Commissioner Clyburn approved in part and concurred in part. All commissioners are expected to issue statements on the proposals.