Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for June – August

OAB FCC Information is courtesy Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC.

Posted On: May 25, 2021

Broadcast Deadlines:

June 1, 2021

Radio License Renewal Applications Due – Applications for renewal of license for radio stations located in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming must be filed in Licensing and Management System (LMS). These applications must be accompanied by Schedule 396, the Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity Program Report (EEO), also filed in LMS, regardless of the number of full-time employees. Under the new public notice rules, radio stations filing renewal applications must begin broadcasts of their post-filing announcements concerning their license renewal applications between the date the application is accepted for filing and five business days thereafter and must continue for a period of four weeks. Once complete, a certification of broadcast, with a copy of the announcement’s text, must be posted to the Online Public Inspection File (OPIF).

Television License Renewal Applications Due – Applications for renewal of license for television stations located in Michigan and Ohio must be filed in LMS. These applications must be accompanied by Schedule 396, the Broadcast EEO Program Report, also filed in LMS, regardless of the number of full-time employees. Under the new public notice rules, radio stations filing renewal applications must begin broadcasts of their post-filing announcements concerning their license renewal applications between the date the application is accepted for filing and five business days thereafter and must continue for a period of four weeks. Once complete, a certification of broadcast, with a copy of the announcement’s text, must be posted to the OPIF within seven days.

EEO Public File Reports – All radio and television station employment units with five or more full-time employees and located in Arizona, Idaho, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, and Wyoming must place EEO Public File Reports in their OPIFs. For all stations with websites, the report must be posted there as well. Per announced Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policy, the reporting period may end ten days before the report is due, and the reporting period for the next year will begin on the following day.

July 10, 2021

Issues/Programs Lists – For all commercial and noncommercial radio, television, and Class A Television stations, listings of each station’s most significant treatment of community issues during the second quarter of 2021 must be placed in the station’s OPIF. The lists should include brief narratives describing the issues covered and the programs which provided the coverage, with information concerning the time, date, duration, and title of each program with a brief description of the program.

Class A Television Stations Continuing Eligibility Documentation – The Commission requires that all Class A Television Stations maintain in their OPIF documentation sufficient to demonstrate that the station is continuing to meet the eligibility requirements of broadcasting at least 18 hours per day and broadcasting an average of at least three hours per week of locally produced programming. While the Commission has given no guidance as to what this documentation must include or when it must be added to the public file, we believe that a quarterly certification which states that the station continues to broadcast at least 18 hours per day, that it broadcasts on average at least three hours per week of locally produced programming, and lists the titles of such locally produced programs should be sufficient.

August 1, 2021

Radio License Renewal Applications – Applications for renewal of license for radio stations located in California must be filed in LMS. These applications must be accompanied by Schedule 396, the Broadcast EEO Program Report, also filed in LMS, regardless of the number of full-time employees. Under the new public notice rules, radio stations filing renewal applications must begin broadcasts of their post-filing announcements concerning their license renewal applications between the date the application is accepted for filing and five business days thereafter and must continue for a period of four weeks. Once complete, a certification of broadcast, with a copy of the announcement’s text, must be posted to the Online Public Inspection File (OPIF).

Television License Renewal Applications Due – Applications for renewal of license for television stations located in Illinois and Wisconsin must be filed in LMS. These applications must be accompanied by Schedule 396, the Broadcast EEO Program Report, also filed in LMS, regardless of the number of full-time employees. Under the new public notice rules, radio stations filing renewal applications must begin broadcasts of their post-filing announcements concerning their license renewal applications between the date the application is accepted for filing and five business days thereafter and must continue for a period of four weeks. Once complete, a certification of broadcast, with a copy of the announcement’s text, must be posted to the OPIF within seven days.

EEO Public File Reports – All radio and television station employment units with five or more full-time employees and located in California, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wisconsin must place EEO Public File Reports in their OPIFs. For all stations with websites, the report must be posted there as well. Per announced Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policy, the reporting period may end ten days before the report is due, and the reporting period for the next year will begin on the following day.

Telecom Deadlines:

July 1, 2021

Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Data Collection (FCC Form 481) – Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs) that receive funds from the High Cost Program and/or Lifeline support program must complete Form 481. Mobility Fund recipients are not required to submit the form. Form 481 collects financial and operations information regarding ETCs and fulfills the annual certification requirement in Section 54.313 of the FCC’s rules. ETCs required to submit Form 481 must file the form electronically using their online USAC portal.

Aug 1, 2021

Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet (FCC Form 499-Q) – FCC rules require telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers to file quarterly revenue statements reporting historical revenue for the prior quarter and projecting revenue for the next quarter. The projected revenue is used to calculate contributions to the Universal Service Fund (“USF”) for high cost, rural, insular and tribal areas as well as to support telecommunications services for schools, libraries, and rural health care providers. USF assessments are billed monthly.

Numbering Resource Utilization Forecast (“NRUF”) (FCC Form 502) – Twice a year, service providers with numbers from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), a Pooling Administrator, or another telecommunications carrier must file a numbering resource utilization forecast. Subscriber toll-free numbers are not included in the report. Interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (“VoIP”) providers are subject to the reporting requirement along with other service providers who receive NANPA numbers, such as wireless carriers, paging companies, incumbent local exchange carriers (“ILECs”), and competitive local exchange carriers (“CLECs”). The next biennial reporting deadline is August 1, 2021.

August 14, 2021 (Due on August 16, 2021 because Aug. 14 falls on Saturday)

Quarterly Percentage of Interstate Usage (“PIU”) Reporting and Certification – Prepaid calling card providers (“PCCPs”) must report the percentage of interstate use factors and associated call volumes to carriers that provide them with transport services. Additionally, PCCPs must file traffic information and a certification signed by a company officer stating that the provider is in compliance with the FCC’s PIU and USF reporting requirements.

September 1, 2021

FCC Form 477 – This form is filed online biannually on March 1 and September 1. The Commission collects a variety of information about broadband deployment and wireless and wired telephone service on Form 477. Broadly speaking, the following providers must fill Form 477: 1) facilities-based providers of broadband connections to end users, 2) providers of wired or fixed wireless local exchange telephone service, 3) providers of interconnected VoIP service; and 4) facilities-based providers of mobile telephony (mobile voice) services. If you have any questions about whether your company must file Form 477 or what information your company is required to submit in the filing, you should contact your telecommunications counsel.

Courtesy Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC