FCC Eliminates Paper Rules Requirement

The FCC has eliminated the requirement that TV stations and cable operators retain paper copies of the FCC's rules.

The item was noncontroversial -- and the vote unanimous -- and newly returned Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel did not even make a statement, simply saying she supported it.

New Republican commissioner Brendan Carr spoke about the requirement being a relic of the 1970s in need of eliminating.

Related: Carr, Rosenworcel Sworn in as FCC Commissioners

FCC chair Ajit Pai also talked about the decision, saying that no longer making those entities spend on keeping paper copies around when the rules are just a click away is another dollar that can be spent on providing better public service.

He also reiterated that at each monthly meeting he would tee up at least one similar item eliminating an unnecessary regulation. He has long pledged to take a regulatory weed whacker to what he called regulatory undergrowth.

Pai noted that the commission had changed and gave a shout-out to new commissioners Carr, a former Pai aide, and Rosenworcel, a former commissioner making a return engagement.

Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said she remained skeptical of the overarching goal of regulatory "modernization," but said she agreed with this particular change.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.