FCC Gets Group Hug For Tree-Saving Proposal

No big surprise here, but broadcast and cable operators have told the FCC they are all for doing away with the FCC regulation that regulated entities have to keep paper copies of those regulations handy. Licensees must still be familiar with the rules, they just will be able to bone up on them digitally if they prefer.

Eliminating the requirement, in the age of digital storage and the internet, was the first of what FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says will be at least one item per month whacking at the regulatory underbrush.

"The apparent purpose of this obligation is to help ensure that broadcasters are familiar with the rules governing their service. These requirements, however, were established more than 40 years ago, and no longer reflect modern realities about the way in which we acquire and process information," the National Association of Broadcasters said, echoing Pai's explanation for proposing it.

"ACA commends the Commission for its efforts to clear the regulatory underbrush through its Media Modernization initiative and fully supports the rule eliminations proposed in the NPRM [notice of proposed rulemaking]."

"The cable industry supports the Commission’s common sense proposal to eliminate rules requiring cable entities to maintain paper copies of Commission regulations," said NCTA-The Internet & Television Association.

"Doing so will help to “advance the Commission’s goal of reducing outdated regulations and unnecessary regulatory burdens that can impede competition and innovation in media markets."

Noncommercial broadcasters also added their voice to the chorus.

"Public Broadcasting believes that the proposed modernized rules appropriately preserve the original intent of the rules in the modern day given the availability of Commission rules online," said America’s Public Television Stations, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Public Broadcasting Service in their comments.

The FCC docket so far has no comments opposing the move.

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.