Some May be Able to Toss Paper Copies of FCC Rules

Regulatory reform proceeds

In its ongoing attempt to reduce regulatory burdens for broadcast operators, the Federal Communications Commission proposed to eliminate rules requiring certain broadcast and cable entities to keep paper copies of FCC rules.

During its September Open Meeting, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes to reduce “unnecessary regulation that can stand in the way of competition and innovation in media markets,” the FCC said. This rulemaking is part of the commission’s Modernization of Media Regulation initiative that it launched earlier this year.

The existing rules were adopted more than 40 years ago to ensure that entities such as low power TV, TV and FM translators, TV and FM booster stations, and others would stay familiar with the rules governing their operations.

Because these rules are now readily accessible online, some have argued that paper copy requirements are outdated and unnecessarily burdensome. Regulated entities are still required to be familiar with the rules governing their services, the commission said when it announced the proposed rulemaking, but elimination of the paper copy requirements gives these groups flexibility to determine how to fulfill that obligation.

This rulemaking is part of the Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative (details of which can be found via MB Docket 17-105) that the FCC launched earlier this year to reduce unnecessary regulation that can stand in the way of competition and innovation in media markets.

All five commissioners supported the notice, with Chairman Ajit Pai, and Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Brendan Carr issuing separate statements.

Comments on the proposal can be made through the FCC ECFS system using MB Docket No. 17-231.

 



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