FCC Outlines Irma-Related Dispensations

The FCC has marshaled its forces to help communications outlets prepare for the possible U.S. landfall of currently category 5 Hurricane Irma.

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, in coordination with the International Bureau, Media Bureau, Wireline Competition Bureau and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, have announced the following procedures for helping those communications providers affected by the storm to stay up and running or get back up.

Emergency requests for special temporary authorities can be made by letter, email, or if necessary by phone. Those authorities "allow licensees to provide emergency communications during a period of emergency in a manner or configuration not specified in the station authorization or in the rules governing such stations."

Related: Verizon Readies for Hurricane Irma

In other words, the flexibility to get or stay on the air in a manner not prescribed by their licenses to operate.

If possible, radio stations can file requests through the Consolidated Database System (CDBS) and TV stations through the Licensing Management System (LMS).

TV stations needing to file via email or phone during regular business hours can contact Hossein Hashemzadeh at (202) 418-1658 or Hossein.Hashemzadeh@fcc.gov. MVPDs/cable operators should contact Sean Mirzadegan at (202) 418-7111 or Sean.Mirzadegan@fcc.gov.

For both, contacts for non-business hours are the FCC Operations Center, which is open 24/7 at (202) 418-1122 or FCCOperationCenter@fcc.gov.

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.