FCC Chairman Ajit Pai spoke on Wednesday at the opening lunch at the NAB Radio Show in Austin, promising more moves to bring media regulation in line with the realities of the modern media marketplace. In his speech, the text of which is available here, the Chairman promised several actions including the following:
- A monthly Notice of Proposed Rulemaking suggesting a media rule change prompted by suggestions made in the Modernization of Media Regulation proceeding we wrote about here and here.
- The first proposal for deregulation coming for the September FCC meeting is a modest one, probably chosen as symbolic of the rules that are outdated and unnecessary – the proposal being to eliminate the rule that requires that a broadcaster have a hard copy of the FCC rules at their station. While not a rule that is ever enforced, it is still notable in that the proposal is being advanced only about a month after the end of the comment period on Media Modernization and illustrates a rule that clearly is unnecessary in a day when any broadcaster can access any FCC rule at any time via the Internet.
- The Chairman stated that he had reviewed the comments in the proceeding to abolish the rules requiring main studios for all broadcast stations, and he concluded that these rules were no longer necessary and would be presenting an Order to implement their abolition before the end of the year.
The Chairman also announced that there would be a further order dealing with AM technical rules released this week as part of is initiative to improve the AM service. He also summarized the FCC’s recent get tough policy on pirate radio (about which we wrote here), promising to use all tools at the FCC’s disposal to demonstrate that there is no place for pirate radio.
The speech demonstrated, once again, how this FCC has a far different perspective on broadcasting than prior Commissions. In fact, the Chairman started his speech with a recitation of the important role that broadcasting had played in addressing the many issues posed by the recent Texas hurricane and lauding their assistance in relief efforts. It was a well-received presentation that will, no doubt, stir many broadcasters to eagerly anticipate the upcoming proposals for more changes in the FCC’s media rules.