The FCC says the rule change adopted Thursday includes a number of measures to minimize the effort and cost associated with moving the public files online. The Commission says the online database makes these files easier to access, reducing consumer time and expense, as well as the long-term costs for government and the private sector, which is you.
The new rules would not impose new or modified public file requirements, with some streamlining exceptions. Here are the specifics of those new rules:
– Impose the online file requirement initially only on commercial stations in the top 50 Nielsen Audio markets with five or more full-time employees while delaying for two years all mandatory online public file requirements for other radio stations.
– Require entities to upload to the online file only public file documents that are not already on file with the Commission or maintained by the Commission in its own database; the Commission will include in the online file documents already on file with the Commission;
– Exempt existing political file material from the online file requirement and require that political file documents be uploaded only on a going-forward basis.
– Permit entities that are temporarily exempt from part or all online public file requirements to upload material to the online file voluntarily before the delayed effective date of their online file requirement.
Permit entities that have fully transitioned to the online public file to cease maintaining a local public file, as long as they provide online access to back-up political file material via the entity’s own website if the FCC’s online file database becomes temporarily unavailable.