GPO Has October 2005 FCC Rules Book Version

The FCC requires broadcast stations and satellite uplink licensees, among others, to have available a copy of the applicable FCC rules and regulations for the facility. The paperback books available from Government Printing Office (GPO) are a convenient way to comply with this requirement. Last week the FCC announced the October 2005 edition of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations is now available. The Title 47 regulations are divided into five books, ranging in price from $40 (Parts 40 to 69) to $61 (all others except Parts 20 to 39, which are $46). See the Public Notice for additional information on prices and how to purchase the books.

To keep up to date with FCC regulations, there is an electronic alternative that doesn't require subscribing to a rules service or updating paper copies. There is no charge to access the GPO Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) on the Web. The data is current as of March 2, 2006.

To obtain FCC regulations from e-CFR go to the GPO Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) Web site and select "Title 47" from the drop down menu in the middle of the page. As in the printed edition, the rules are divided into five volumes. Click on the parts you are interested in (Volume 4, Parts 70-79 covers broadcasting and cable regulations). You will be taken to a page where you can either select the specific part you are interested in or the table of contents for that part. If you select the entire part, be prepared to wait awhile on a slow Internet connection, as it will download the entire part to your Web browser. This may be convenient if you want to save or print out a copy of the entire part. If you print it out, check the page margins and font size as some of the tables are quite wide. Selecting the table of contents for the part gives a listing of all the sections and their titles. Clicking on the section displays it, making it easy to reference an individual section.

If you want to save an entire part from e-CFR, most browsers allow you to save Web pages. Alternatively you can download the Web site into Adobe Acrobat and save it as a PDF. If properly configured, this will save the local hyperlinks to the sections listed in the table of contents at the top of the part. If you don't own Adobe Acrobat, the free program PDF Creator will allow you to print the Web site to a PDF file, although the version I have does not appear to preserve the hyperlinks.

Note that the e-CFR Web page states it is a beta test site. As a result I recommend you consult your FCC attorney to see if e-CFR is acceptable if you intend to use e-CFR data to meet FCC requirements for having a copy of the FCC regulations.

The FCC also offers copies of the rules in PDF format at If you click on a part on this page, it will take you to another GPO Access Web page listing text and PDF copies of each section of the part. I didn't see a way to download a PDF of the entire part at one time. These are in the same format as the printed copy (tables shouldn't be an issue), but are not as up to date. The URL for Part 73 appeared to indicate the rules are the same as those in the October 2005 printed edition.