FCC to Vote on Paperless Notification Dereg for MVPDs

WASHINGTON—It’s 2020, and soon having broadcasters sending paper notifications for station actions may be a thing of the past. In a FCC blog post, Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the commission will vote on whether to eliminate required paper notifications in favor of electronic notifications.

This is part of the FCC’s Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative, which aims to update rules and regulations so they better match the current media marketplace. According to Pai, the replacement of “wasteful and costly paper notifications” has been a recurring theme.

As it currently stands, cable and satellite operators are required to provide broadcast TV stations with paper notices before they take certain actions. For cable operators this can be things like commencing service in a market or deleting/repositioning a broadcast station. For satellite providers, this can cover retransmitting certain stations or launching new services.

The FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on eliminating paper notifications in July 2019, which Pai said received unanimous support from commenters.

The FCC will officially vote on the rule at its next open meeting on Jan. 30.