NAB Offers Election Toolkit for Broadcasters


The National Association for Broadcasters has offered a free 2016 election toolkit for broadcasters to support radio and television station efforts this election cycle.

"Broadcasters play a critical role in boosting voter registration, education, and turnout," said the NAB in a statement Monday, Oct. 17.

The toolkit includes ideas for broadcasters to engage audiences through programming concepts, PSA scripts, and social media strategies. With advice for driving voter registration, informing voters, airing great debates, getting out the vote, getting social, PSAs, and more resources, the toolkit assists in broadcasters' commitment to driving civic participation.

"By integrating election issues and candidate profiles into your programming and digital content," said the NAB, "your station gives listeners and viewers the knowledge they need to cast an informed vote."

The United States has seen an increase in the number of eligible voters by 10 million in the past four years, according to the Pew Research Center. This has increased the diversity of the voting pool. With the increase of the use of technology in the past decade comes the increase in the importance of broadcasters' commitment to driving civic participation.

To find the election toolkit, click here.

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Spectrum Auction Financial Target Lowered

The second phase of the Federal Communications Commission's reverse auction closed last week, with a new target of $54 billion for 90 megahertz set for the next round. Incentives include a "cleaner" round with 3,688 category one license blocks with up to 15% impairment and five category two license blocks ranging from 15% to 50% impairment. Read more HERE

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FCC Reports Increase in Basic, Expanded Basic Cable Rates

The FCC revealed that basic cable rates and expanded basic cable rates had risen in its annual basic cable rates report on Oct. 12. The report is made by the Media Bureau and required by Section 623(k) of the Communications Act of 1934. It measures the rates of the 2014 calendar year, ending on Jan. 1, 2015.

The reports are made surveying the "average prices for all communities." This year, the report revealed an increase of 2.3 percent of rates for basic cable rates to $23.79. Expanded basic cable rates increased by 2.7 percent to $69.03. The average price per channel (price divided by number of channels) in expanded basic cable packages decreased from 1.8 percent, to 46 cents per channel

Beyond rates, the report also measured the "effective competition" for cable companies in the U.S.

"Cable operators in communities where the Commission has found effective competition accounted for 47 percent of cable subscribers nationwide," the report said.

You can read the original report here.

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Donald Trump's presidential team picked Jeffrey Eisenach, an avowed crusader against regulation, to craft strategy on net neutrality and the FCC. | Getty

Trump Team Seeks to Combat Regulation

A version of this post originally appeared on Politico, a news source for global news and information on politics and policy. 

Donald Trump's presidential transition team is turning to a crusader against regulation as it seeks to craft a strategy on issues like net neutrality and the future of the Federal Communications Commission, according to three sources familiar with the effort.

The newly tapped aide, Jeffrey Eisenach, is a known commodity in Washington tech and telecom circles. Dating back to his time as leader of the now-defunct Progress and Freedom Foundation, he's argued vigorously in favor of the FCC taking a hands-off approach to digital issues. While there in the 1990s, he also called for robust penalties against Microsoft during the U.S. government's antitrust investigation of the software giant.

In 2012 Eisenach arrived as a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute — and in that role, he’s been an outspoken antagonist of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and his policies. In his research and advocacy, often backed by tech and telecom interests, he's slammed the Obama administration's efforts on net neutrality, broadband investment and more.

Eisenach declined to confirm or deny his role with the campaign when reached by phone late Thursday. The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment. But the transition team's nascent telecom effort comes as the Republican nominee scrambles to catch up with his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, who released a full tech policy roadmap in June.

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Reforms Needed for FCC to Adhere to the Rule of Law

The Federal Communications Commission has been criticized in recent years because of its substantive policy and its processes. Critics of the FCC have commented on its efforts to regulate internet service terms and broadband communications rates as well as its neglect to inform the public of its regulatory actions in a reasonable amount of time.

By these failures, the FCC has caused substantial loss to entities in the private sector and has undermined the rule of law by subverting the rules and regulations placed upon the government's representatives to the people they serve. The FCC's own actions, or lack thereof, are a call for its own regulatory reform.

According to an article on, the rule of law is a "bedrock element of the American constitutional system." The rule of law says that government officials are bound by the law, and the law is superior to those officials. The actions of the FCC have demonstrated a lack of respect and obedience to the law that governs all citizens, especially government representatives.

The need process reforms was made evident even to the FCC itself, and the organization began what it called a "process reform initiative" in 2013. Congress has also reprimanded the FCC. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 2583 or the FCC Process Reform Act of 2015 which "require[s] the FCC to make certain changes to its rules within one year, with the goal of improving agency processes and making the commission more transparent, efficient, and accountable."

Yet, even with the reforms in place, there are still present concerns with procedural inadequacies and the meager steps taken to fix them. For example, Heritage Foundation Senior Research Fellow James Gattuso said that the problem of FCC overreach "requires substantive reforms, and will not be solved by procedural tinkering."

For more information on the need for the FCC to adhere to the Rule of Law, click here.

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