With a unanimous 5-0 vote the FCC voted to require broadcast and satellite radio, cable and DBS to file their public files online.
Stations will only be required to upload new documents, not existing files, to the FCC-hosted and maintained Website.
The commission heard the requests from broadcasters and will require larger stations, those in the top 50 markets with 5 or more employees, to transition first. Smaller stations will transition two years later, by March 1, 2018.
Stations with fewer than 5 employees can seek waivers to be exempt.
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said during the vote it’s “pretty retrograde” that the FCC still has on its books a rule allowing stations to keep these files in paper form. “This kind of requirement may have made sense in the Madmen era,” but “it makes no sense in the digital age.”