Main Studio Rule Nix On FCC’s October Meeting Agenda


The elimination of the FCC’s main studio rule is one step closer from becoming a reality.

The Commission on Tuesday unveiled its tentative agenda for its October Open meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 24, and it confirmed that the five-member agency will consider MB Docket No. 17-106.

That’s the Report and Order eliminating the rule that requires each AM, FM, and television broadcast station to maintain a main studio located in or near its community of license.

The item is the seventh of eight items the Commission will consider at its meeting.

The first is the newly authored WC Docket No. 10-90, which will consider an Order to clarify the use of high-cost universal service support and permit forward funding of support to aid in reconstruction of telecommunications networks damaged by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Commenting on the Order, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said, “Hurricane Maria caused catastrophic damage to communications networks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Yesterday, as part of the FCC’s ongoing work to assist with restoration efforts, I shared with my colleagues an order that would quickly make available up to $76.9 million of funding to repair wireline and wireless communication networks and restore communications services.”

Specifically, Pai is proposing to allow carriers to use money provided through the Universal Service Fund’s high-cost program to repair and restore communications networks throughout the U.S. Caribbean territories. He is also proposing that the FCC provide carriers operating in the territories the option of receiving USF funding in advance.

“Instead of receiving a standard monthly payment, carriers could elect this month to receive seven months’ worth of funding immediately in order to expedite repair and restoration efforts,” Pai suggested.

The proposal could be adopted by the Commission before the Open Meeting.

Also at the October meeting, the Commission will consider a NPRM that seeks comment on updates to FCC rules governing ancillary/supplementary services and broadcast public notices, as found in Section 73.624(g) and Section 73.3580, of its rules. This is MB Docket Nos. 17-264, 17-105.