Accessibility Recordkeeping Compliance Certification Due April 2, 2018
March 6, 2018 On March 1, 2018, the FCC released a Public Notice reminding telecommunications carriers, interconnected VoIP and advanced communications service (“ACS”) providers that they must file their annual accessibility compliance certificate (covering 2017) by April 2, 2018. This certificate certifies that the provider has operating procedures in place to ensure compliance with the recordkeeping requirements contained within the FCC’s rules adopted in accordance with the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (“CVAA”) of 2010.
Small Cable Systems Must Upload New Political Files to the FCC’s Online Public File Database Beginning March 1, 2018
February 20, 2018 Beginning March 1, 2018, cable systems with at least 1,000 but fewer than 5,000 subscribers must upload new political file materials to the FCC’s online public inspection file database on a going-forward basis. These systems are not required to upload political file materials from prior to this date. Instead, existing records must be maintained locally until the end of the political file’s two-year retention period.
Reinstated Requirement: CPNI Officer’s Certificate Due March 1, 2018
February 6, 2018 Last June, the FCC released an Order affirming that its customer proprietary network information (“CPNI”) rules governing the privacy obligations of telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers, are again in effect. Accordingly, telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers must again comply with the annual compliance and recordkeeping requirements under the CPNI rules, including the obligation to file an annual certificate with the FCC by March 1, 2018.
FCC Reminds MVPDs of Increased Video Description Requirements; New Rules Requiring More Hours of Video Description Begin July 1, 2018
January 22, 2018 On January 12, 2018, the FCC’s Media Bureau released a Public Notice reminding multichannel video programming distributors (“MVPDs”) that, beginning July 1, 2018, MVPD systems serving 50,000 or more subscribers must provide 87.5 hours of video description per calendar quarter on channels carrying each of the top five national nonbroadcast networks. The nonbroadcast networks currently subject to the video description requirements are USA, TNT, TBS, History and the Disney Channel.
January 9, 2018 On December 14, 2017, the FCC released a Report and Order adopting a new voluntary Emergency Alert System (“EAS”) event code – “BLU” – to enable the delivery of Blue Alerts. The Blue Alert code will cover emergency information related to a law enforcement officer who is missing, seriously injured, or killed in the line of duty, or when there is an imminent credible threat to an officer.
FCC Grants Small Cable Operators’ Market Modification Request; Operators Overcome Network Interference to Re-obtain Full Local Signal
December 19, 2017 On December 7, 2017, the FCC’s Media Bureau adopted a Memorandum Opinion & Order granting a joint petition filed by three small Kentucky cable operators seeking to modify a broadcast station’s local television market. The Electric Plant Board of the City of Russellville, Duo County Telecom, and North Central Telephone Cooperative (collectively, the “Petitioners”) sought to modify the television market of WBKO, licensed to Bowling Green, Kentucky to include six communities assigned to the Nashville, Louisville and Lexington designated market areas (“DMAs”).