Archive for the ‘FCC’ Category

More Details on FCC’s Upcoming Nationwide EAS Test Including August 28 Deadline to Update Information in ERTS Reporting System

We wrote earlier this week about the upcoming EAS Nationwide Test and discount site viagra the need for broadcasters to make sure that their EAS equipment is operating in compliance with all FCC rules. The FCC itself has now released its own Public Notice detailing the many things that broadcasters need to check at their facilities before the upcoming test, including the need to update their information in the ERTS EAS reporting system by August 28. The FCC also issued a new EAS Handbook detailing broadcaster’s EAS obligations. The Public Notice notes that the EAS test will focus on the IPAWS internet-based system through which the common alerting protocol (“CAPS”) alert is sent – a system that was mandated a few years ago as an additional way for alerts to be conveyed to stations to supplement the traditional “daisy-chain” of alerts being passed from one broadcast station to another (see our articles here , here and here )

CLASSICS Act Introduced to Provide Pre-1972 Sound Recording Public Performance Clarity – What Issues Does It Leave Unresolved?

The CLASSICS (Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service and Important Contributions to Society) Act was introduced in Congress last week to try to clear up some of the ongoing disputes over the public performance rights of pre-1972 sound recordings. Through litigation, certain copyright holders (including, most notably, Flo and Eddie of the 1960’s band The Turtles) have been seeking compensation from digital and analog music services for the public performance of pre-1972 sound recordings. These sound recordings are not covered by Federal law

Proposed $66,000 Fine Reminds Broadcasters to Prepare for September Nationwide EAS Test

FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) has notified the FCC that it will be conducting the next nationwide test of the EAS system on September 27, 2017 (with a back-up date of October 4, 2017 – in the event potential real emergencies make the earlier date one that could cause confusion). The FCC has updated its reporting system for stations to provide information about the success of the test (recently releasing these instructions to remind stations to create user names in the system), and should be better able to track station’s participation in the test. Thus, to make sure that you can report a successful test, this is a good time for stations to insure that they are monitoring the correct EAS sources as required by their state EAS plan, that they have their online EAS CAPS alert systems functional, and that they are properly receiving, conducting and logging their weekly and monthly tests. The consequences of not having a properly functioning EAS system were highlighted by a proposed fine announced last week – suggesting a $66,000 fine against an Alaskan noncommercial FM station for a variety of violations. Emphasized in the FCC’s order were the EAS failures of the station, including its failure to have an EAS Handbook at the control point for the station, the failure to monitor the correct EAS sources and cheap generic viagra the transmission of alerts meant to be sent by another station in a different EAS operational area

Incentive Auction Developments – Payments to TV Stations Giving Up Their Spectrum Announced and Bill Introduced to Provide More Funds for Repacking…

Earlier this week, we wrote about some of the upcoming dates for broadcasters in the TV incentive auction process – particularly those dealing with the repacking process. Developments continue, with the FCC yesterday issuing a Public Notice announcing that stations that relinquished their spectrum in the incentive auction will be receiving their payouts from the proceeds of the auction – with such payouts beginning immediately as they can be processed by the Treasury Department.

What’s Next for TV Stations Repacked as a Result of the Incentive Auction? – Recent Flurry of FCC Announcements

As the repacking of the TV band proceeds after the Incentive Auction , the FCC has issued some guidance as to what comes next for TV stations. Obviously, in the near future, TV stations that agreed to surrender their spectrum in the auction will get notice from the FCC to expect their payments from the proceeds collected from the wireless companies that purchased the repackaged surrendered TV spectrum. For stations that are remaining in operation, who last week were required to file construction permit applications for their repacking to the smaller TV band, and their estimates of the expenses that they will incur in the repacking process, the FCC published an article on its blog, here , setting out what is next. The article notes that 25 stations will be filing soon in a new window for stations that either cannot construct on the channels that they were assigned by the FCC, or need expanded facilities to replicate their existing coverage.

Alouette Prepares for Satellite Transition

In 2017, satellite transmission for network of stations will undergo a monumental change

FCC Releases Tutorial on FM Translator Auction Window for AM Stations – Clarifies that AM Buyers Can File Applications

The FCC yesterday released an online tutorial for the upcoming windows for filing for FM translators for AM stations. The first window will run from July 26 until 6 pm ET on August 2, where Class C and D AM stations that did not receive a translator in last year’s 250-mile waiver windows can file for a new FM translator to rebroadcast their AM station. We wrote about that window here

Avoid Catastrophic UPS Failures With This Checklist

The nature of micro-processor equipped broadcast equipment has also made the presence of uninterruptible power supplies ubiquitous

FCC Declares Sinclair/Tribune Transaction a Permit-But-Disclose Proceeding Allowing for More Public Participation in the Review Process

Yesterday, the FCC issued a Public Notice declaring the proposed acquisition of the Tribune television stations by Sinclair Broadcast Group a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding . This is not an unusual occurrence in a large broadcast combination where policy issues may be considered. This simply allows the parties to the transaction, and any other party who files comments on the matter, to have discussions with FCC Commissioners and other FCC decision makers about the matter, as long as a description of substance of the discussion is reduced to writing and filed in the docket of the proceeding so that all other participants have notice of what is being said. This acquisition will, of course, be one where the FCC’s recent decision (summarized here ) about the UHF discount will come into play, particularly as there are parties currently appealing that decision (see our article on the appeal here ).

NAB Details Radio Stations that Could be Affected by Repacking of the TV Band

One of the lesser highlighted concerns of the repacking of the TV band into channels 36 and below following the recent incentive auction has been the impact of the repacking on radio stations . As TV stations need to shuffle channels to fit into the smaller TV band as the upper TV channels are repurposed for wireless uses, there will be many situations where there will be tower climbers and other tower work to accomplish the required TV channel changes. While this work is being done, radio stations that share the TV towers may need to reduce power or even cease operations to create a safe environment for the tower climbers. The NAB this week released a list of radio stations that share towers with repacked TV stations and thus could be affected by this upcoming construction. If they have not already done so, radio stations on this list need to coordinate with the local TV station and start planning as to how to best accommodate the repacking work while not unduly disrupting the radio station’s operations during this process that may well strain industry technical resources.

Changes in FCC Rules on Third-Party Fundraising By Noncommercial Stations Effective Now – Except for the New Disclosure and canada viagra Paperwork Obligations

At its April meeting, the FCC voted to allow noncommercial stations not affiliated with NPR or CPB to raise funds for third-party nonprofit organizations , even where such fundraising appeals interrupted normal programming, as long as the licensee did not devote more than 1% of its yearly airtime to such appeals . We wrote here about the decision before it was adopted. The decision adopting the rule change was published in the Federal Register on May 5, 2017 , with an effective date of July 5, but for the new rules that need approval from the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

FCC’s Elimination of the Requirement that Letters From the Public be Kept in a Broadcaster’s Public Inspection File Effective Today

Today, the order eliminating the requirement that broadcasters maintain in a paper public inspection file copies of letters and emails to their stations about station operations becomes effective. While the FCC abolished the requirement back in January, one of the first deregulatory actions of the new Chairman (see our article on that decision here ), the decision did not become effective until the publication of that decision in the Federal Register, which occurred today ( here ). The delay was caused by the review of the decision by the Office of Management and Budget to ensure that it was consistent with the Paperwork Reduction Act – seemingly a self-evident proposition, but one that takes time nevertheless. For all TV stations and many radio stations that have already converted to the online public file, this effective date will remove the last paper remnant of the public inspection file.

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