Media Bureau Seeks Comment on Expanding Online Public File Obligations
Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500
445 12th St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
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
As of July 1, 2014, all television broadcast stations have fully transitioned to the online
1 The Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause and the Sunlight Foundation Petition for Rulemaking, filed July 31,
2014 at 1.
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.
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: https://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/ or the Federal eRulemaking Portal:
http://www.regulations.gov. Filers should follow the instructions provided on the website for
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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
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.
47 C.F.R. § 1.1206.
7 47 C.F.R. § 1.405.
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).
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 email@example.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.
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