FCC Aims to Modernize Media Rules: Ajit Pai

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    Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai made some important suggestions during an address at NAB Show 2018 in Las Vegas.

    * He said his aim is to modernise the nation’s media rules. “That’s required a lot of work,” he said and added: “For most of these rules were written during the analog era.”

    * Pai said: “At the FCC, I see it as our job to create a regulatory environment that enables you to keep doing great work like this. A big part of that is modernising our media rules to match the marketplace and technology of today.”

    * Recalling that the FCC adopted rules authorizing the Next Gen TV transmission standard, he said, “By allowing use of this standard on a voluntary, market-driven basis, we’ve opened the door to a substantially improved, free, over-the- air television broadcast service and fiercer competition in the video marketplace.”

    * Pai said that a year ago at NAB Show, he promised a review of media regulations to identify those that should be revised or repealed. “We’ve already launched eight separate rulemakings as a result of this effort, and we’ll start more in the coming months,” he said.

    * “In particular, [FCC] Commissioner [Michael] O’Rielly is now leading an effort to update our children’s television rules so that they better reflect the way that kids watch video these days.” he added.

    * In yet another important mention, he said, “Another area where we’ve been active is pirate radio. We’re cracking down on unauthorized stations that can hurt your businesses, interfere with licensed communications, and impede the public’s ability to access the critical information you provide.”

    * Pai said that since January 2017, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has undertaken a whopping 306 pirate-radio investigations and has issued 210 Notices of Unlicensed Operation. That reflects a 101% increase in enforcement against pirate broadcasters compared to the previous year. During that same time, the Commission has also fined illegal broadcasters $143,800 and proposed fines totaling $323,688.

    * He restated a commitment to letting broadcasters innovate with the recent adoption of the Next Gen TV transmission standard, known as ATSC 3.0, which supports capabilities such as 4K, HDR, mobility and new emergency services.

    * “By allowing use of this standard on a voluntary, market-driven basis, we’ve opened the door to a substantially improved, free, over-the-air television broadcast service and fiercer competition in the video marketplace,” he said.

    * Pai added: “And lastly, we’re working with various U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the U.S. Marshals Service to seize radio transmitters and other equipment used by pirate radio stations. Just a little over two weeks ago on March 26, federal authorities seized radio transmission equipment from two radio stations that were operating illegally in Boston. Today, I can report that we recently took similar action against a pirate operator in Miami and another operator in Queens, New York.”

     

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