FCC

Earlier this week, the FCC released a Second Report and Order revising and expanding requirements to identify and disclose whether any “leased” broadcast program is sponsored by an agent of a foreign government.  The new order followed a decision in 2022 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to strike down a component of the original rule adopted by the FCC.  The new rule was adopted on a 3-to-2 vote, with the FCC’s two Republican members dissenting.  While the FCC has underscored that these rules are intended to provide broadcasters with flexible and simple options for compliance, failure to comply with these new information gathering and retention requirements could lead to enforcement action, including monetary forfeitures. Continue Reading FCC Adopts Revised Foreign Sponsorship Disclosure Requirements

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently adopted two Notices of Apparent Liability (NALs) in connection with its investigation into AI-based “deepfake” calls made to New Hampshire voters on January 21, 2024.  The NALs follow a cease-and-desist letter sent on February 6 to Lingo Telecom, LLC (Lingo), a voice service provider that originated the calls, demanding that it stop originating unlawful robocall traffic on its network, which we previously blogged about here.Continue Reading FCC Proposes Fines for AI-based “Deepfake” Robocalls Before New Hampshire Primary

Updated May 28, 2024.  Originally posted May 10, 2024.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to reopen the public comment period on potential further amendments to its orbital debris mitigation rules, providing space industry stakeholders with a new opportunity to provide input on regulations with far-reaching implications.  Further illustrating the FCC’s commitment to leadership in regulating commercial space operations, stakeholders have until Thursday, June 27 to provide input on the agency’s regulation of orbital debris.  Today’s Federal Register sets this comment deadline, as well as a cutoff of Friday, July 12 for any reply comments.Continue Reading FCC’s Space Bureau Seeks Further Input on Regulation of Orbital Debris; Comments Due June 27

With the 2024 election cycle in full swing in the United States, on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel asked her fellow Commissioners to approve a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking comment on a proposal to require a disclosure when political ads on radio and television contain AI-generated content.  This action reflects a growing concern among federal and state officials about the role that deceptive AI-generated content could play in elections. At the same time, a statement issued today from Republican Commissioner Brendan Carr makes clear that there is disagreement about the appropriateness of FCC intervention on this topic.Continue Reading FCC Chair Proposes AI Labeling for Political Ads on TV and Radio

Over the past few months, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has received requests from U.S. Senators asking the FTC to investigate the data collection practices of several automotive manufacturers.  Last week, Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent a letter to the FTC asking the agency to investigate several automakers for “deceiving their customers by falsely claiming to require a warrant or court order before turning over customer location data to government agencies.”  Among other things, the letter alleges inconsistent data collection and retention practices in the industry, asserting that some automakers only collect location data for a “critical safety event” (e.g., collision, air bag deployment, or automatic emergency braking event) while others “routinely collect[] and retain[] vehicle location data.”  The letter also states that only one automaker has a policy of informing consumers about legal demands for their data.  The letter refers to the FTC’s recent geolocation “crack down” in other contexts and urges “the FTC to investigate these auto manufacturers’ deceptive claims as well as their harmful data retention practices” and to, “in addition to taking appropriate action against the companies, . . . consider holding these companies’ senior executives accountable for their actions.”Continue Reading Data Collection by Auto Manufacturers under Scrutiny

On May 2, 2024, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for consideration at the agency’s May 23 Open Meeting that proposes to “prohibit from recognition by the FCC and participation in [its] equipment authorization program, any [Telecommunications Certification Body (TCB)] or test lab in which an entity identified

Updated April 30, 2024.  Originally posted March 18, 2024.

In March, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a licensing framework that authorizes satellite operators to partner with terrestrial wireless providers to develop hybrid satellite-terrestrial networks intended to provide ubiquitous network connectivity, including in “dead zones” and other hard-to-reach areas.  Today’s Federal Register publication confirms that this new “Supplemental Coverage from Space” (SCS) regime will become effective Thursday, May 30, 2024, which will enable satellite operators to serve as a gap-filler in the networks of their wireless provider partners by using their satellite capability combined with spectrum previously allocated exclusively to terrestrial service.Continue Reading FCC’s “Supplemental Coverage from Space” Rules Take Effect May 30; New Licensing Framework Expands Satellite-to-Smartphone Coverage

On April 2, 2024, the FCC released a Report and Order (the “Order”) and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (the “Further Notice”) approving a rule change on a bipartisan, unanimous basis to allow radio broadcasters to use FM boosters to direct hyper-local programming for a portion of each hour at specific geographic areas rather than to do what radio stations have done for a century, which is sending the same broadcast stream over the entire market.  Prior to the rule change, radio stations could only use FM boosters to retransmit the main signal to areas not well covered by the primary antenna. Continue Reading FCC Approves Rule Change Revolutionizing Radio Industry

On April 4, 2024, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel released a draft of the agency’s long-anticipated Safeguarding and Securing the Open Internet Order (Open Internet Order), which would reclassify broadband Internet access service as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.  The FCC is expected to consider and vote on the draft at its next Open Commission Meeting scheduled for April 25, 2024.  The FCC is expected to adopt the Open Internet Order now that Democrats hold a 3-2 majority at the agency.Continue Reading FCC Shares Draft Open Internet Order Ahead of April Meeting

Last month, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) raised the fixed broadband speed benchmark from 25/3 megabits per second (“Mbps”) to 100/20 Mbps and concluded that “advanced telecommunications capability is not being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion.” As a consequence, the FCC concluded that “section 706 [of the Telecommunications Act of 1996] requires [it] to ‘take immediate action to accelerate deployment of such capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market.’”Continue Reading FCC Raises Speed Benchmark for Fixed Broadband Services