Courtesy of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, RBR+TVBR is pleased to provide list of deadlines* facing broadcasters and telecommunications providers during the upcoming months of February, March, and April.
If you noted the asterisk, it’s because the government shutdown may affect many of these deadlines, either because the relevant online filing system or the required information is not accessible.
If that is the case, the deadline is likely to be moved to the first full day after the FCC reopens. However, you should not assume anything — and in any event should be prepared to make required filings on a moment’s notice.
Further, in addition to those uncertainties, you should understand that the list is NOT exclusive, so there may be others. For help meeting these deadlines or answering questions about any that may not be listed here, please contact FHH at 703-812-0400.
The day after the FCC Fully Re-Opens:
Additional Steps to Revitalize the AM Radio Service – Comments are due in response to the Commission’s Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with regard to revised alternative proposals regarding interference protection to Class A AM radio stations. As with most filing deadlines occurring while the FCC is partially closed, the FCC extended the deadline until the day after the date on which the FCC staff goes back to work for a full day.
February 1, 2019:
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Public File Reports – All radio and television stations with five (5) or more full-time employees located in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, and Oklahoma must upload EEO Public File Reports to their online public inspection files. For all stations with websites, the report must be posted there as well. Per announced FCC policy, the reporting period may end ten days before the report is due, and the reporting period for the next year will begin on the following day.
EEO Mid-Term Reports – All television stations with five or more full-time employees in New Jersey or New York must electronically file a mid-term EEO report on FCC Form 397, with the last two EEO public file reports attached.
February 19, 2019:
Additional Steps to Revitalize the AM Radio Service – Reply comments are due in response to the Commission’s Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with regard to revised alternative proposals regarding interference protection to Class A AM radio stations. This date is likely to be extended until at least 30 days after the adjusted deadline for initial comments.
April 1, 2019:
EEO Public File Reports – All radio and television station employment units with five (5) or more full-time employees located in Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas must place EEO Public File Reports in their public inspection files. All stations must also upload the reports to the online public file. For all stations with websites, the report must be posted there as well. Per announced FCC policy, the reporting period may end ten days before the report is due, and the reporting period for the next year will begin on the following day.
EEO Mid-Term Reports – All television stations with five or more full-time employees and located in Delaware or Pennsylvania must electronically file a mid-term EEO report on FCC Form 397, with the last two EEO public file reports attached.
April 10, 2019:
Repack Transition Progress Report – All full-power and Class A television stations repacked as a result of the incentive auction, other than those in Phase 1 or Phase 2 that have completed the repack process, including filing reports of completion, must file a report in the Licensing and Management System (LMS) to detail their progress toward completion of the transition.
Children’s Television Programming Reports – For all commercial television and Class A television stations, the first quarter 2019 children’s television programming reports must be filed electronically with the Commission. These reports then should be automatically included in the online public inspection file, but we would recommend checking, as the FCC bases its initial judgments of filing compliance on the contents and dates shown in the online public file. Please note that the required use of the LMS for the children’s reports means that you should have the licensee FCC registration number and password at hand before you start the process.
Commercial Compliance Certifications – For all commercial television and Class A television stations, a certification of compliance with the limits on commercials during programming for children ages 12 and under, or other evidence to substantiate compliance with those limits, must be uploaded to the online public inspection file.
Website Compliance Information – Television and Class A television station licensees must upload and retain in their online public inspection files record sufficient to substantiate at license renewal time a certification of compliance with the restrictions on display of website addresses during programming directed to children ages 12 and under.
Issues/Programs Lists – For all commercial and noncommercial radio, television, and Class A television stations, a listing of each station’s most significant treatment of community issues during the last quarter must be placed in the station’s online public inspection file. The list should include a brief narrative describing the issues covered and the programs which provided the coverage, with information concerning the time, date, duration, and title of each program.
Class A Television Continuing Eligibility Documentation – The Commission requires that all Class A Television maintains in their online public inspection files documentation sufficient to demonstrate that the station is continuing to meet the eligibility requirements of broadcasting at least 18 hours per day and broadcasting an average of at least three hours per week of locally produced programming. While the Commission has given no guidance as to what this documentation must include or when it must be added to the public file, we believe that a quarterly certification which states that the station continues to broadcast at least 18 hours per day, that it broadcasts on average at least three hours per week of locally produced programming, and lists the titles of such locally produced programs should be sufficient.
February 1, 2019:
Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet (FCC Form 499-Q) – FCC rules require telecommunications carriers and interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers to file quarterly revenue statements reporting historical revenue for the prior quarter and projecting revenue for the next quarter. The projected revenue is used to calculate contributions to the Universal Service Fund (USF) for high cost, rural, insular and tribal areas as well as to support telecommunications services for schools, libraries, and rural health care providers. USF assessments are billed monthly.
Rural Call Completion Reporting (FCC Form 480) ELIMINATED – On April 17, 2018, the FCC released an Order removing the rural call completion reporting requirements. Starting with the May 1, 2018 rural call completion report, covered providers (i.e., certain long-distance voice providers ) have no longer been required to file FCC Form 480 on a quarterly basis. Therefore, there is no rural call completion reporting requirement for February 1, 2019.
Numbering Resource Utilization Forecast (NRUF) (FCC Form 502) – Twice a year, service providers with numbers from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), a Pooling Administrator, or another telecommunications carrier must file a numbering resource utilization forecast. Subscriber toll-free numbers are not included in the report. Interconnected VoIP providers are subject to the reporting requirement along with other service providers who receive NANPA numbers, such as wireless carriers, paging companies, ILECs, and CLECs.
February 14, 2019:
Quarterly Percentage of Intenet Usage (PIU) Certification – USF prepaid calling card providers must file a certification stating that it is making the required USF contributions. The certification must be signed by an officer of the company under penalty of perjury and can be filed electronically using the FCC’s ECFS system. The Quarterly PIU Certification due February 14, 2019 will cover the Fourth Quarter of 2018 (October 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018).
March 1, 2019:
Customer Proprietary Network (CPNI) Certification – All telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers must file an annual CPNI certification by March 1, 2019 with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. Carriers must certify that they have established operating procedures to ensure compliance with the FCC’s CPNI rules. In addition, carriers must include an explanation of any actions taken against data brokers and a summary of all customer complaints received in the past year concerning unauthorized release of CPNI.
FCC Form 477 – Form 477 filings are due on March 1, 2019. The filing database is currently unavailable until the government shutdown ends; however, any entity subject to the filing requirement should be prepared to timely file Form 477 or to file immediately after the end of the government shutdown. The Commission collects a variety of information about broadband deployment and wireless and wired telephone service on Form 477. Broadly speaking, the following providers must fill Form 477: 1) facilities-based providers of broadband connections to end users, 2) providers of wired or fixed wireless local exchange telephone service, 3) providers of interconnected voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service; and 4) facilities-based providers of mobile telephony (mobile voice) services. If you have any questions about whether your company must file Form 477 or what information your company is required to submit in the filing, you should contact your telecommunications counsel.
March 31, 2019:
International Traffic and Revenue Reports – ELIMINATED International 214 licensees and interconnected VoIP providers offering services between the U.S. and international points were required to report certain information about their international traffic and revenue to the FCC twice a year. However, the Commission eliminated the international traffic and revenue report in October 2017; therefore, there is no upcoming international traffic and revenue report filing deadline.
April 1, 2019:
Form 499-A – The annual Form 499 filing, Form 499-A, must be filed by telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers Carriers report their prior year’s annual revenues using the form, and the FCC uses that information to reconcile, or true-up, a carrier’s USF contributions over the past year based on the carriers quarterly Form 499-Q revenue projections. Carriers that overpaid their contributions will receive a credit, and USAC will bill carriers that underpaid their USF contributions.
Rate of Return Reporting FCC Form 492 – Local exchange carriers (LECs) groups of affiliated carriers must file FCC Form 492 within three months of the end of each calendar year. Each LEC or group of affiliated carriers may make corrections to the report within 6 months of the due date for the report. Two copies of the report must be filed with the Secretary of the Commission with an additional copy filed with the Wireline Competition Bureau, Industry Analysis and Technology Division.
Automated Reporting Management Information System (ARMIS) Reporting – Certain incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) must file ARMIS reports annually by April 1. The Commission has made significant changes to ARMIS reporting over the years to reduce the reporting burden. That said, carriers subject to the reporting thresholds are still required to report some ARMIS information, including pole attachment reporting. Information subject to ARMIS reporting also may vary depending on whether a carrier is a mid-size or large ILEC or a mandatory price-cap, elective price-cap, or non-price-cap ILEC. If you have any questions about the FCC’s changes to ARMIS reporting, you should contact experienced telecommunications counsel.
Section 43.21(c) Letter – Common carriers with operating revenue in excess of the indexed revenue threshold must file a letter with the Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau showing the carriers operating revenues for the prior year and the value of its total communications plant at the end of the year. The indexed revenue threshold is defined in Section 32.9000 of the Commission’s rules. The threshold is an inflation-adjusted amount calculated based on the annual revenue of $100 million in 1992.