Broadcasting and Internet on FCC Agenda

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s effort to reverse the previous administration’s internet power grab will most certainly be the headliner of the agency’s open meeting next week; however, it will not be the only subject to be considered. Items of particular importance to broadcasters will also be on the agenda.

Last month, Pai announced that he planned to consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) “to reverse the mistake of Title II and return to the light-touch regulatory framework” that had, until two years ago, been the context in which innovation, investment, and freedom flourished on the internet. The next day, he used a blog post to describe additional items he had prepared, including a public notice to begin a full-scale review of media regulations. The commission will be seeking input on which rules are still useful and which ones should be considered for modification or repeal. Pai said, “With close to 1,000 pages of rules on the books regulating broadcast, cable, and satellite television, many of them decades old, I’m confident this inquiry would uncover some candidates for reform.”

The commissioners will also consider an NPRM next week aimed at jettisoning the “main studio” rule for broadcasters. In his blog post, Pai called it “counterproductive” and added, “[T]hanks to technological innovations, notably the online ‘public file,’ we can give broadcasters additional flexibility by repealing the ‘main studio’ rule without sacrificing transparency or community engagement.”

More information about these and other items on next week’s agenda is available from the FCC here.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: May 12, 2017

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