This morning, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the FCC’s new online public file requirements for radio stations, cable systems, DBS operators, and SDARS operators.  The rules are not yet effective, but will become effective on a rolling basis on the schedule below after an approval notice is published in the Federal Register.  Based on past experience, we expect Federal Register publication to occur within a few days to a few weeks.  When Federal Register publication occurs, the FCC will announce the actual effective date of the new rules.  The FCC has also said that it will schedule tutorial sessions (as it did when the television online public file was implemented) prior to the effective date of the new rules.

  • Within 30 days of the publication of approval of the rules by OMB: Commercial broadcast radio stations in the top 50 markets with five or more full time employees in their station employment unit, cable systems with 1,000 or more subscribers, DBS providers, and SDARS licensees must begin uploading new public inspection file material and new political file material to the online public file. Cable systems with between 1,000 and 5,000 subscribers initially will be exempt from the requirement to upload new political file material.
  • Within six months of the publication of approval of the rules by the OMB: Commercial broadcast radio stations in the top 50 markets with five or more full time employees in their station employment unit, cable systems with 1,000 or more subscribers, DBS providers, and SDARS licensees must complete the process of uploading their existing public file material to the online public file.
  • March 1, 2018: Commercial broadcast radio stations outside the top 50 markets or with fewer than five full-time employees in their station employment unit and all NCE radio broadcast stations will have until March 1, 2018 to upload their existing public inspection file material to the online public file. From that date forward, such stations must also upload new public inspection file material and new political file material to the online public file. Additionally, cable systems with between 1,000 and 5,000 employees must begin uploading new political file material to the online public file by this date.

 

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