Public File Rule Changes Now Effective


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has announced that two revisions to the public inspection file requirements for commercial broadcasters and cable operators are now effective as of June 29, 2017.  In January, the Commission eliminated two public inspection file requirements: (1) the requirement that commercial broadcast stations retain copies of letters and emails from the public in their public inspection files; and (2) the requirement that cable operators maintain for public inspection the designation and location of the cable system’s principal headend.  The Commission expects that removing these requirements will allow commercial broadcasters and cable operators to make their entire public inspection file available online and will eliminate the need to maintain a local public file.  Cable operators must continue to provide headend location information, upon request, to the FCC, broadcast television stations, and franchisors.  In lieu of responding to individual requests, operators may include this information in the FCC’s online public inspection file (OPIF) database, which will make the information publicly accessible.

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