FCC Chair Says Expanding Commission’s Channel Sharing Rules on March Agenda

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has announced six items that will be up for vote at the March 23 meeting. on Capitol Hill. He released the statement as part of his campaign to shed light on the FCC practices and decision making process.

“We’re publicly releasing the text of all six matters that will be considered at our March open meeting,” Pai wrote in a statement released on the thought-sharing platform Medium on March 2. “Allowing anyone, anywhere to see these documents publicly is another step towards shedding more sunlight on the FCC’s operations. After March 23, I expect that we’ll be in a position to fully evaluate this pilot project and establish permanent procedures for the release of meeting items.”

Pai goes on to say that the list includes new rules that permits full power and Class A stations that have given up their licensed spectrum usage rights during the reverse auction to share a channel with another station. According to the statement from the FCC, the rule also “authorized channel sharing between low power television (LPTV) and television translator stations (collectively, “secondary stations”) to help mitigate the auction’s potential to displace secondary stations.”

The discussion will focus on “new rules that give cellular service providers greater flexibility to provide customers advanced broadband services; a plan to eliminate outdated reporting requirements for providers of international telecommunications services; and an order that would for the first time expand the Commission’s channel-sharing rules outside the context of the incentive auction, giving low power TV and TV translator stations more options to stay in business and continue broadcasting essential news and information to the public.”

Also on the list are stemming the flood of scam phone calls that take advantage of Caller ID spoofing, robocalling by “spammers and scammers” that threaten those who answer, contraband cellphones in prisons, and providing better services for Video Relay Services for the hearing impaired.

To read the full statement from Pai, please click here.

For an agenda of the March 23 meeting, please click here.

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The Board of Directors – The Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance