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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

June 11, 1998


This proceeding marks yet another major step forward in making good on my promise to take a common sense approach to regulation and to ensure that we do not impose or retain any unnecessary burdens on regulated entities. I commend the Mass Media Bureau's leadership in this agency-wide effort.

The item we adopted today proposes fundamental changes in the technical regulation of FM services. I believe it asks the right question -- how can we modify our rules to give greater flexibility to radio broadcasters to reach additional listeners while preserving the technical integrity of the FM band and adequate service to all communities.

This Commission's broadcast accomplishments and on-going initiatives, of which this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is but one element, are truly prodigious. A partial listing of our most significant efforts underscores the fundamental changes this agency is making in the way we regulate the radio and television industries. On April 2, the Commission adopted a wide-ranging Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to streamline the application process for new and modified broadcast station licenses and for station sales. In addition, that NPRM proposed substantive rule and policy changes to reduce burdens on licensees and to simplify the construction permit extension process.

The proposed overhaul of broadcast licensing is also a component of the major Mass Media Bureau project to implement electronic filing and processing for 16 key broadcast application and reporting forms by next spring. We believe that these changes will significantly reduce licensee burdens, increase application processing efficiencies, and promote fuller public participation in the licensing process. We are also in the process of developing automated electronic call sign assignment procedures.

I am equally pleased with the Mass Media Bureau staff initiatives that are, in many cases, slashing application processing time frames. These include fast-track processing of certain complete and grantable FM modification applications, new DTV license certification procedures, the introduction of computer generated authorizations for AM stations, and the creation of ad hoc working groups, such as the Audio and Video Division teams that rapidly completed the processing of over one hundred and forty settlement agreements among mutually exclusive broadcast applicants.

I look forward to moving this item and our Mass Media deregulatory efforts forward.