FCC Proposes to Eliminate a Regulation

Posted on June 30th, 2016 by

Ok, we know we’ve been hard on our bureaucratic brethren in this newsletter, and this headline is a little tongue-in-cheek. Ok, maybe a lot. But our editorial board decided to go with it because we were feeling some of that independence before the start of the 4th of July weekend. And anytime you can declare yourself free of regulation, it harkens back to a time long ago when we declared ourselves free of tyranny, and celebrated.

Indeed, the FCC has proposed to eliminate a regulatory burden that is – quite frankly – a pain. Remember that public file? The one you have to keep so the public can review it? Well one of the items you have to place in the file is written comments from the public about your station operations. Those can be numerous, or nasty, or nonsensical. But they have to go in the file. And if you’re already in online public file mode, these comments are an exception to the normal requirement to upload online because the FCC is concerned about the public’s privacy. So OPIF users must still maintain a paper file with these comments back at the station. Really.

But wait! Enter the FCC in its best freedom garb! They are proposing to eliminate this requirement altogether. Not that they don’t love the public and their comments, but they just see this as no longer necessary. Some Commissioners are concerned about safety at broadcast stations and because of the privacy/separate file issue, see this requirement as a dinosaur.

If you agree, celebrate the possibility of freedom by taking a peek at this public notice and filing comments in support.

And Happy Fourth of July! Stay safe!