Commissioner O’Reilly Calls For Change In Public File Access Rule

Posted on September 30th, 2015 by

To improve safety to broadcasters and their employees, FCC Commissioner O’Reilly, in a post on the FCC’s official blog, has called for the FCC to adopt a rule change allowing broadcasters who post their public file online to no longer be required to make their facilities open to the public.

Interestingly, O’Reilly’s proposal is not limited to only those broadcasters who are required to have their public file online, such as TV broadcasters. Instead, he includes all stations, even if their online public file access is voluntary. Commissioner O’Reilly refers to the FCC’s open proceeding considering an online public file requirement for all radio stations (with some exemptions) in which he called last December for comments from stations on studio access and safety issues. He noted that on his review of the record, there are few comments on the issue, and he called for the submittal of more information into the record on the physical threats and actual harms experienced by broadcast station personnel.

The blog post suggests to us that a decision in the months-old and still open radio online public file proceeding may be in the works, though a draft order has not yet appeared on the “Items on Circulation” list, which denotes those issues where draft decisions are being circulated among the Commissioners.

To submit any comment or information related to this matter, broadcasters should specify Media Bureau Docket 14-127 and submit electronically using the FCC’s electronic comment filing system.