License Posting Mandate at Tower, Other Sites is History

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Broadcasters can stop posting licenses in their studios or tower sites. The FCC voted earlier in December 2018, to eliminate the rules that require broadcasters to post and maintain copies of their licenses and related information in specific locations. The change went into effect Friday.

The agency agreed with commenters like NAB that the rules, which dated to 1930, became redundant and obsolete now that licensing information is readily accessible online through Commission’s databases. NAB told the FCC, requirements that mandate posting at the transmission site don’t really benefit the public because certain transmission sites, ‘‘are often in areas surrounded by security fencing, thereby limiting the public access to these facilities and any posted information.’’  

Further, mandates that broadcasters post licenses and other authorizations at the ‘‘principal [control] point of the transmitter’’ have been rendered obsolete by the internet, asserted NAB and other commenters, which has enabled broadcasters to transition to dial-up or IP systems that manage their transmitters remotely through a smartphone or computer. The agency agreed.

Commenters also explained that because licensees typically do not own the towers on which their antennas are placed, eliminating the rules would not likely impede a first responder’s ability to contact the appropriate person during an emergency. In many cases, antenna structure registration numbers allow first responders and others to rapidly identify the tower owner in the event of a tower lighting outage, collision or other problem, removing the need for licensee contact information.

The effective date was triggered by a Federal Register notice.

February 11, 2019

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