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Media Bureau Seeks Comment on Expanding Online Public File Obligations

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Released: August 7, 2014
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PUBLIC NOTICE

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th St., S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

Washington, D.C. 20554

DA 14-1149

Released: August 7, 2014

MEDIA BUREAU SEEKS COMMENT ON PETITION FOR RULEMAKING FILED BY

THE CAMPAIGN LEGAL CENTER, COMMON CAUSE AND

THE SUNLIGHT FOUNDATION SEEKING EXPANSION OF ONLINE PUBLIC FILE

OBLIGATIONS TO CABLE AND SATELLITE TV OPERATORS

Bureau Also Seeks Comment on Expanding Online Public File Obligations to Radio Licensees

MB Docket No. 14-127

Comment Date: August 28, 2014

Reply Comment Date: September 8, 2014

The Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause and the Sunlight Foundation filed a Petition for

Rulemaking requesting that the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) “initiate a

rulemaking to expand to cable and satellite systems the requirement that public and political files be

posted to the FCC’s online database.”1

When it adopted the online public file rules, the Commission decided to limit initial implementation to

broadcast television stations, specifically declining to require radio, cable systems or other multichannel

video programming distributors to post public file documents to the FCC’s online database at that time.2

The Commission explained that there was an insufficient record to extend the requirement beyond

broadcast television, and that starting with television licensees would “ease the initial implementation of

the online public file.”3

The online public file launched on August 2, 2012. In the intervening two years, over half a million items

have been successfully uploaded into the online file, and the site has generated nearly five million page

views. Despite initial concerns, NAB has characterized the first wave of implementation as

“uneventful.”4

As of July 1, 2014, all television broadcast stations have fully transitioned to the online

file.

1 The Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause and the Sunlight Foundation Petition for Rulemaking, filed July 31,

2014 at 1.

2

Standardized and Enhanced Disclosure Requirements for Television Broadcast Licensee Public Interest

Obligations, 27 FCC Rcd 4535, 4585-86 (2012) (“Online File Order”).

3 Id. at 4586.

4 NAB Comments at 3, Standardized and Enhanced Disclosure Requirements for Television Broadcast Licensee

Public Interest Obligations, MM Docket 00-168, filed Aug. 26, 2013.

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With this transition complete, we seek comment on the above-mentioned petition. We also seek comment

on whether the Commission should initiate a rulemaking proceeding to require broadcast radio stations to

use the online public file, and on an appropriate time frame for such a requirement.5

This proceeding will be treated as “permit but disclose” for purposes of the Commission’s ex parte rules.

See generally 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200-1.1216. As a result of the permit-but-disclose status of this

proceeding, ex parte presentations will be governed by the procedures set forth in Section 1.1206 of the

Commission’s rules applicable to non-restricted proceedings.6

Given that all comments will be posted to the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS),

we hereby waive the requirement that parties be served copies of the comments and reply comments in

this proceeding,7 pursuant to Section 1.3 of the Commissions rules.8

Interested parties may file comments on or before August 28, 2014 and reply comments on or before

September 8, 2014. All filings must reference MB Docket No. 14-127. In order to be considered part of

the official record, comments must be filed using: (1) ECFS, (2) the Federal Government’s eRulemaking

Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies.9

Comments sent via e-mail to the Commission that do not use the

ECFS form described below will be considered informal and will not be part of the official record.

Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the

ECFS: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/ or the Federal eRulemaking Portal:

http://www.regulations.gov. Filers should follow the instructions provided on the website for

submitting comments.

For ECFS filers, in completing the transmittal screen, filers should include their full

name, U.S. Postal service mailing address, and the applicable docket number: MB

Docket No. 14-127.

Parties may also submit an electronic comment by Internet e-mail.

To get filing instructions, filers should send an e-mail to ecfs@fcc.gov, and include the

following words in the body of the message: “get form”. A sample form and instructions

will be sent in response.

Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each

filing. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by

first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although we continue to experience delays in

receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). All filings must be addressed to the Commission’s Secretary,

Marlene H. Dortch, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary

5

In the Online File Order, the Commission delegated to Commission staff the authority to allow radio stations to

voluntarily post their public files in the online database “at such time as staff determines that such an option is

feasible and desirable . . . .”

Online File Order at 4586. Commission staff is analyzing the budget and technical

issues that are involved in allowing radio licensees to upload documents to the online public file voluntarily.

6

47 C.F.R. § 1.1206.

7 47 C.F.R. § 1.405.

8

47 C.F.R. § 1.3.

9 See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, GC Docket No. 97-113, Report and Order, 13

FCC Rcd 11322, 11326, ¶ 8 (1998).

2

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must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW, Room TW-A325,

Washington, DC 20554. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or

fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building. The filing

hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority

Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.

U.S. Postal Service first-class mail, Express Mail, and Priority Mail must be addressed to

445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554.

Copies of all filings will be available in MB Docket No. 14-127 through ECFS and are also available for

public inspection and copying during regular business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center,

Portals II, 445 12th St., SW, Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554, telephone (202) 418-0270. They

may also be purchased from the Commission’s duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc.,

Portals II, 445 12th St., SW, Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554, telephone (202) 488-5300,

facsimile (202) 488-5563, or via email at fcc@bcpiweb.com.

Alternate formats of this Public Notice (computer diskette, large print, audio recording, or Braille) are

available to persons with disabilities by contacting the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at

(202) 418-0530 or (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

For further information, contact Kim Matthews of the Media Bureau, (202) 418-2154. Press inquiries

should be directed to Janice Wise, (202) 418-8165.

-FCC-

3

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