FCC Increases Amount of Required Video Described Programming for MVPDs
August 1, 2017 On July 12, 2017, the FCC released an Order increasing the amount of video described programming on top-rated broadcast and non-broadcast networks that must be carried from 50 hours per calendar quarter to 87.5 hours per quarter. Covered broadcast stations and multichannel video programming distributors (“MVPDs”) must start providing the additional hours of video description in the calendar quarter beginning on July 1, 2018.
FCC Reinstates CPNI Privacy Regulations, Including Annual Compliance Certification
July 10, 2017 On June 29, 2017, the FCC released an Order (“Order”) affirming that its customer proprietary network information (“CPNI”) rules governing govern the privacy obligations of telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers, are again in effect.
MVPDs Must Act Quickly to Be Eligible to Receive Reimbursement for Repacking Costs Due to Broadcast Incentive Auction; July 12, 2017 Is When First MVPD Filing Due
June 29, 2017 On April 13, 2017, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing the conclusion of the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction and the start of the 39-month post-auction transition period. Over the next three years, more than 1,000 broadcast stations across the country will be moving to new channels to make room for more mobile wireless services in the upper end of the band. Congress provided for a reimbursement fund of $1.75 billion, which gives repacked broadcasters and MVPDs alike the opportunity to recover the costs of making the necessary changes, but immediate steps must be taken by MVPDs to ensure their eligibility for reimbursement. The reimbursement fund is limited and is widely expected to run out before covering all eligible expenses, making a timely initial MVPD reimbursement filing imperative.
FCC Rules That Cable Operators May Deliver Annual Notices Via Email
June 27, 2017 On June 21, 2017, the FCC released a Declaratory Ruling granting ACA and NCTA’s request that cable operators be able to deliver annual notices via electronic distribution. Specifically, the FCC clarified that cable operators may provide annual notices via e-mail to a verified email address so long as an operator also includes a mechanism for customers to opt out of e-mail delivery and continue to receive paper notices.
FCC Reminds MVPDs of July 10, 2017 Deadline to Pass Through Audible Emergency Information during Linear Programming on “Second Screen” Devices
June 13, 2017 On June 8, 2017, the FCC’s Consumer and Public Affairs Bureau released a Public Notice reminding MVPDs of their upcoming obligation to pass through a secondary audio stream containing audible emergency information when they permit consumers to access linear programming on second screen devices over the MVPD’s network as part of their MVPD services. The compliance deadline for this requirement is July 10, 2017.
May 30, 2017 The FCC has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on its proposed regulatory fees for fiscal year 2017. Congress requires the FCC to annually collect regulatory fees to cover its operational costs, and the FCC sets the fees by calculating the proportion of the total number of FCC employees needed to regulate a particular service.