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On the FCC Docket: Ditching License Displays & Mitigating Interference

Chairman Ajit Pai previewed the May 10 agenda in a blog post this week

WASHINGTON — As is his tradition, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai previewed the agenda for the commission’s May 10 meeting in a Medium blog post Wednesday.

Pai announced the 10th rulemaking for his Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative. He proposes to eliminate the requirements that mandate “broadcasters to physically display or maintain their licenses and related information in specific locations.” He says this is redundant because of the commission’s electronic databases, and wants this rule to go the way of physical cable channel lineups and hardcopies of the FCC’s rules.

Another item the commission will tackle is how “to mitigate any interference caused by the expanded use of FM translators.” Pai says his “proposal: (1) would allow translator stations to resolve interference by moving to any available same-band channel using a minor modification application; and (2) would require a minimum number of legitimate complaints to support any interference claim.”

[Some of this material will be review for NAB Show attendees; Pai addressed the We Are Broadcasters Celebration last week.]

Pai also writes, “I’m proposing to provide greater flexibility to current EBS [Educational Broadband Service] licensees to freely use and transfer their spectrum.” Pai says this will “allow more efficient and effective use of” the 2.5 GHz band, much of which is currently unused.

Finally, May 10 will include “a Hearing Designation Order and an enforcement item,” details of which cannot be revealed until the meeting.

He also highlighted Commissioner Mignon Clyburn’s career at the commission, calling her “a tremendous leader” and emphasizing her work on “telehealth, media diversity and digital inclusion.” Pai said “I’ve enjoyed working with her and, even when we have not seen eye-to-eye on policy, I’ve always held her candor and thoughtfulness in the highest regard.”

Pai concludes: “One of the great joys of my job is having the privilege of meeting people from all across the country and hearing their stories. These interactions inform our work and inspire me to keep pushing ahead.”

UPDATE: The commission has released an FCC Fact Sheet laying out the details of the proposed amendment of Part 74 of the commission’s rules regarding FM translator interference. Read it online here.