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FCC Considers Eliminating Broadcast Reporting Requirements

The FCC has proposed to reduce some more broadcasters paperwork burdens.

At its public meeting Tuesday (Oct. 24), the FCC proposed no longer requiring broadcasters who use spectrum for ancillary services like subscription video or data transmission to file annual reports unless they actually earn revenue from those services and therefore would have to pay the FCC a fee. In those cases they would still need to file reports.

The commission is also seeking comment on whether to allow broadcasters to notify the public of a license renewal application via the Internet rather than in a newspaper and over-the-air announcements.

The vote was unanimous, but with commissioner Mignon Clyburn only concurring on the license application portion and saying she was ready to dissent before the item was tweaked. "Making it more difficult for viewers to know when their local station’s license is up for renewal or is even changing hands to a new station owner, is a disservice to the viewing public," she said.

Related: Divided FCC Eliminates Main Studio Rule

"While I initially approached this NPRM ready to dissent, I am grateful to Commissioner O’Rielly for hearing my concerns and working with my office to address the tone of the item and the need to ask whether there is a comparable means to notify the public, if not done through on-air announcements."

The proposals are the latest in FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s pledge to have a “regulatory underbrush-clearing item" on every public meeting agenda. The vote came at the Oct. 24 public meeting.