Among the things that will now be possible to do electronically, per a Media Bureau announcement:
* Informal Objections
* Petitions to Deny
* Petitions for Reconsideration
* Applications for Review
Not only will these items be easy to file, they will be easy to access, thereby increasing transparency.
The new feature applies to broadcast applications and cannot be used for docketed items.
The FCC issued the following boilerplate on accessing the database:
To access the pleadings submission form in the electronic filing system, simply log into a CDBS account at this site: http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/cdbsmenu.hts, and click on “additional non-form filings” at the bottom of the list of available electronic forms. From the Informal Filings menu on the next screen, select “Informal Objection/Petition to Deny/Petition for Reconsideration/Application for Review/Opposition/Reply/Supplement.” The link will open the CDBS Pre-form for “Informal Objection/Petition to Deny/Petition for Reconsideration/Application for Review/Opposition/Reply/Supplement” where you select the type of pleading to be filed and enter the application file number to which the pleading pertains. Upon completion of the Pre-form, click on “Enter.” The link will open the “Informal Objection/Petition to Deny/Petition for Reconsideration/Application for Review/Opposition/Reply/Supplement” Form. Pleadings filed electronically shall be treated as properly transmitted to the Commission as of the date of receipt.
RBR-TVBR observation: We’d like to see a place where we can plead with the FCC to do something newsworthy on those days when nothing much is going on – like almost every day during the month of August.
On a more serious note, we suspect the concern will be that this will make it that much easier to object to a broadcast transaction, among other things. It will be interesting to see if the new CDBS access will become a drag on the deal-making process.