Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from the last week, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.
- The FCC announced that CDBS, the database where all broadcast applications were filed before most migrated to the newer LMS database, would stop accepting new applications as of last Wednesday, January 12. CDBS was, until being shut down for new filings, still being used for STAs, address changes, and a number of AM applications. These submissions not yet migrated to LMS will now be filed through emails to the FCC (Public Notice). For more information, see our article here.
- A California low power FM station received a Notice of Violation for not monitoring the sources it was assigned to monitor in the State EAS plan. The Enforcement Bureau’s review of the station’s EAS log showed that the station was not monitoring the two EAS sources designated for it in the State EAS Plan but was instead monitoring only an optional monitoring point. No financial penalty was proposed, but the station must submit a response explaining its violations, with a timeline for coming into compliance. (Notice of Violation). This is a good reminder to make sure that your stations are monitoring the sources assigned in your state plan. The decision also emphasizes that LPFM stations are part of the EAS system and must monitor assigned stations for emergency alerts and pass through such alerts when they are received.
- A consent decree released this week is a good reminder that, even though the radio license renewal cycle is winding down, FCC staff are still reviewing pending applications and stations’ online public files for completeness. Make sure your online public file holds all of the necessary documents and that those documents are uploaded on time. (Consent Decree)
- Now that the repacking of the TV spectrum has been completed and changes to the TV Table of Allotments are permitted, the FCC this week asked for comments on several proposals for existing stations operating on VHF channels to move to UHF (Portland, OR; Henderson, NV; Monroe, LA; Albany, NY), and a proposal for a new TV channel allocation to be reserved for noncommercial operations (Ft. Bragg, CA).
- The FCC’s Audio Division fined an FM translator operator for not filing a license application when it completed construction and for operating the new translator after its construction permit expired. (Order and Notice of Apparent Liability) This is another reminder that, when a broadcaster completes construction of any new facility, it must file a license application so that the FCC can confirm that the station was constructed as authorized.
- The US Senate confirmed Alan Davidson to be head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Davidson will be in charge of billions of dollars designated for broadband infrastructure investment and will work closely with the FCC on broadband and spectrum policy. Read FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s congratulatory statement, here. In other confirmation news, now that President Biden has re-nominated Gigi Sohn to be an FCC Commissioner, watch for the Senate Commerce Committee to further consider her nomination in the next few weeks.
In Case You Missed It: We published our 2022 calendar of important dates for broadcasters. In addition to outlining the political windows for the year, it highlights many of the most important dates for broadcasters in the coming year – including dates for license renewals, EEO Public Inspection File Reports, Quarterly Issues Programs lists, children’s television obligations, annual fee obligations, political windows, and much more. (2022 Broadcasters’ Calendar)