Expansion of Revisions to Public Inspection File Requirements-Broadcaster Correspondence File and Cable Principal Headend Location, 11406-11412 [2017-03465]

Download as PDF 11406 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 35 / Thursday, February 23, 2017 / Rules and Regulations Regulatory Review Information ACTION: This rule is not a significant regulatory action for the purposes of E.O. 12866 and has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). It is also not a major rule as defined in 5 U.S.C. Chapter 8, Congressional Review of Agency Rulemaking. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, we certify that this rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. It simply adds address and contact information for a new NARA facility. NARA believes that a public comment period is unnecessary as this rule simply adds a new NARA facility, so it meets the good cause exception under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C.(b)(3)(B)). This rule also does not have any Federalism implications. SUMMARY: List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 1253 Archives and records, Federal buildings and facilities, Presidential records. For the reasons stated in the preamble, NARA amends 36 CFR part 1250 as follows: PART 1253—LOCATION OF NARA FACILITIES AND HOURS OF USE 1. The authority citation for part 1253 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 44 U.S.C. 2104(a). 2. Amend § 1253.3 by adding paragraph (n) to read as follows: ■ § 1253.3 Presidential Libraries. * * * * * (n) Barack Obama Library is located at 2500 West Golf Road, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169–1114. The phone number is 847–252–5700 and the fax number is 847–252–5799. The email address is obama.library@nara.gov. David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States. [FR Doc. 2017–03502 Filed 2–22–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7515–01–P FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 73 and 76 rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES Expansion of Revisions to Public Inspection File Requirements— Broadcaster Correspondence File and Cable Principal Headend Location Federal Communications Commission. VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:37 Feb 22, 2017 Jkt 241001 In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) eliminates two public inspection file requirements: The requirement that commercial broadcast stations retain in their public inspection file copies of letters and emails from the public; and the requirement that cable operators maintain for public inspection the designation and location of the cable system’s principal headend. Our actions will reduce regulatory burdens on commercial broadcasters and cable operators, advance regulatory parity with respect to our public file requirements among various program distributors, and improve security at local stations and principal headend locations. Effective February 23, 2017, except for the amendments to §§ 73.3526, 76.5, 76.1700, and 76.1708, which contain information collection requirements that have not been approved by OMB. The Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of those amendments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kim Matthews, Media Bureau, Policy Division, 202–418–2154, or email at kim.matthews@fcc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission’s Report and Order, FCC 17–3, adopted on January 31, 2017 and released on January 31, 2017. The full text of this document is available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY–A257, Washington, DC 20554. This document will also be available via ECFS at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/. Documents will be available electronically in ASCII, Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe Acrobat. Alternative formats are available for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), by sending an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or calling the Commission’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418–0530 (voice), (202) 418–0432 (TTY). DATES: Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis [MB Docket No. 16–161; FCC 17–3] AGENCY: Final rule. The Report and Order contains new or modified information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). The requirements will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under section 3507(d) PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 of the PRA. OMB, the general public, and other Federal agencies will be invited to comment on the new or modified information collection requirements contained in this proceeding. In addition, we note that pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, we previously sought specific comment on how the Commission might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. Summary I. Introduction 1. In the Report and Order, we eliminate two public inspection file requirements: (i) The requirement that commercial broadcast stations retain in their public inspection file copies of letters and emails from the public; and (ii) the requirement that cable operators maintain for public inspection the designation and location of the cable system’s principal headend. Because of potential privacy concerns associated with putting the correspondence file online and because many cable operators prefer not to post online the location of their principal headend for security reasons, removing these requirements will enable commercial broadcasters and cable operators to make their entire public inspection file available online without these privacy and security concerns and eliminate the need to maintain a local public file. 2. Principal headend location information must be accessible to the Commission, however, to enable it to enforce its signal leakage rules and to respond to must-carry and signal leakage complaints. In addition, broadcast television stations must have access to this information in order to exercise their must-carry rights and franchisors may need it in connection with their oversight of local cable systems and operations. Accordingly, we will require cable systems to provide principal headend location information to these entities upon request. In lieu of responding to individual requests for such information, operators may alternatively elect voluntarily to provide this information to the Commission for inclusion in the Commission’s online public inspection file (‘‘OPIF’’) database and may elect to make the information publicly available there. 3. Eliminating the correspondence file and principal headend public file requirements will reduce regulatory burdens on commercial broadcasters and cable operators. By permitting these entities to cease maintaining a local public file, our actions will also advance E:\FR\FM\23FER1.SGM 23FER1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 35 / Thursday, February 23, 2017 / Rules and Regulations regulatory parity with respect to our public file requirements among various program distributors and improve security at local stations and principal headend locations. rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES II. Background A. Correspondence File 4. Section 73.3526(e)(9) of the Commission’s rules provides that commercial broadcast stations must retain in their public inspection file ‘‘[a]ll written comments and suggestions received from the public regarding operation of the station unless the letter writer has requested that the letter not be made public or the licensee believes the letter should be excluded from public inspection because of the nature of its content,’’ such as a situation in which a letter contains content that is defamatory or obscene. The rule expressly includes email messages transmitted to station management or to an email address publicized by the station. 5. As discussed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in this proceeding, Revisions to Public Inspection File Requirements— Broadcaster Correspondence File and Cable Principal Headend Location, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 81 FR 40617, June 22, 2016 (NPRM), the Commission first required commercial radio and television broadcasters to retain written comments and suggestions from the public and make them available for public inspection in 1973. The original correspondence file rule was adopted together with a requirement that commercial broadcast stations air regular announcements ‘‘informing the public of the licensee’s obligation to the public and of the appropriate method for individuals to express their opinions of the station’s operation.’’ The purpose of the correspondence file was ‘‘to permit a member of the public to better determine the nature of community feedback being received by the licensees and the extent to which his or her opinions regarding community problems and needs and/or the licensee’s station operation might be shared by other members of the community.’’ The Commission later removed the requirement that licensees air announcements regarding their obligations to the public, noting that section 73.3580 of the rules requires that both commercial and noncommercial stations make announcements in connection with the filing of their license renewal applications and concluding that these renewal application announcements were VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:37 Feb 22, 2017 Jkt 241001 sufficient to inform the public of the ‘‘Commission’s oversight functions and the availability of public recourse.’’ The Commission, however, retained the requirement that licensees keep all written comments and suggestions received from the public in their public inspection files. 6. The correspondence file requirement applies only to commercial broadcasters; there is no similar requirement for noncommercial broadcasters. There is also no correspondence file requirement for cable operators, DBS providers, or satellite radio licensees, all of which have other public inspection file obligations. B. Principal Headend Location 7. Section 76.1708 of the Commission’s rules requires operators of all cable television systems to ‘‘maintain for public inspection the designation and location of [the system’s] principal headend. If an operator changes the designation of its principal headend, that new designation must also be included in its public file.’’ The Commission first adopted the principal headend public file requirement in a 1993 order implementing the must-carry and retransmission consent provisions of the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992. Implementation of the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992, Broadcast Signal Carriage Issues, Report and Order, 58 FR 17350, April 2,1993 (‘‘Must-Carry Order’’). Under the Cable Act, commercial television stations must deliver a good quality signal to a cable system’s ‘‘principal headend’’ in order to be eligible for must-carry rights on that system. The Cable Act’s provisions regarding eligibility for must-carry rights for noncommercial and low power television stations also refer to a cable system’s ‘‘principal headend.’’ In the Must-Carry Order, the Commission required cable systems to retain various records relating to must-carry obligations in their public file, including, as noted above, the designation and location of the system’s principal headend. C. Online Public Inspection File 8. In 2012, the Commission adopted online public inspection file rules for television broadcasters that required them to post public file documents to a central, FCC-hosted online database rather than maintaining files locally at their main studios. See Television Online Public File Order, 77 FR 27631, May 11, 2012. However, in the PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 11407 Television Online Public File Order, the Commission determined that letters and emails from the public should not be uploaded to the online file, but should instead continue to be maintained at the station’s main studio. The Commission concluded that including letters and emails from the public in the online file could risk exposing personally identifiable information and that requiring stations to redact such information prior to uploading these documents would be overly burdensome. 9. In January 2016, the Commission adopted the Expanded Online Public File Order, 81 FR 10105, February 29, 2016, in which it added cable operators, DBS providers, broadcast radio licensees, and satellite radio licensees to the list of entities required to post their public inspection files to the FCChosted online database. With respect to commercial radio licensees, the Commission concluded, consistent with the decision reached in the Television Online Public File Order, that it would exempt letters and emails from the public from the requirement to file online and instead require stations to continue to retain such material in their local public file. The Commission also concluded that it would not require cable operators to include principal headend location information in the online public file and gave operators the option instead to continue to retain this information in their local public file. 10. The Commission determined in the Expanded Online Public File Order that entities that upload all public file material to the Commission’s online database and that also provide online access to back-up political file documents via the entity’s own Web site when the Commission’s online database is temporarily unavailable will not be required to maintain a local public file. The Commission noted, however, that this option is not available to commercial broadcast licensees, which must continue to retain a correspondence file that cannot be made available online for privacy reasons. In the NPRM, the Commission tentatively concluded that it should eliminate the correspondence file requirement. As requested by NCTA, we also proposed in the NPRM to eliminate the requirement that cable operators retain information regarding the location of their principal headend in the public inspection file. We noted that the general public has no interest in this information and that eliminating this public file requirement would permit operators who feel the need to avoid posting this information online for security reasons to cease retaining this E:\FR\FM\23FER1.SGM 23FER1 11408 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 35 / Thursday, February 23, 2017 / Rules and Regulations information locally and to transition to a fully online public inspection file. rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES III. Discussion A. Correspondence File 11. As we proposed in the NPRM, we eliminate the requirement that commercial broadcast stations retain letters and emails from the public in their public inspection files. We agree with those commenters who argue that retention of letters and emails is not necessary to ensure that broadcasters comply with their public interest obligation to air programming that is responsive to the needs and interests of their community of license. Viewers and listeners can continue to communicate directly with stations by letter, email, social media, telephone, or other means; the only change is that stations will no longer be required to retain letters and emails and make them publicly available in their local public file. 12. We agree with the Broadcaster Coalition that stations are likely to continue to respond to concerns raised by consumers even though they are no longer required to retain all written communications for public inspection. Stations have an economic incentive to be responsive to their consumers. The Broadcaster Coalition notes that, as they have with letters and emails from the public, stations now monitor their social media accounts to understand viewers’ reactions to stories and obtain feedback about the operation of the station. We also agree with those commenters who note that the volume of commentary on social media sites about a station’s performance is likely to far exceed the number of letters and emails a station receives. Unlike the correspondence file, these Internet postings are readily available online where they can be viewed by interested parties. 13. Our action today will have little, if any, impact on the Commission’s role in reviewing licensee performance. As we stated in the NPRM, the Commission’s scrutiny of most licensee conduct occurs in conjunction with consideration of a station’s license renewal application. Interested listeners and viewers may file petitions or objections concerning licensee performance at the time the station files its renewal application. Licensees are required to air announcements notifying their viewers and listeners that they have the opportunity to provide feedback during the Commission’s review of the license renewal application. Petitions and objections filed in connection with a license renewal application are accessible by the public in the Commission’s VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:37 Feb 22, 2017 Jkt 241001 Consolidated Database System (CDBS). Interested parties may also file formal and informal complaints at any time during a station’s license period. The Commission maintains a public Web site that permits consumers to file informal complaints directly with the Commission. 14. While we recognize that some consumers may not have Internet access at home, lack access to broadband, or lack digital media skills, we disagree with those commenters who argue that these concerns warrant requiring commercial broadcasters to continue to maintain a correspondence file. The record suggests that few consumers seek access to the correspondence file. Consumers can continue to communicate directly with stations by letter or telephone and those without Internet access at home may also be able to access the online public file from locations, such as public libraries, that provide Internet access to the public. In addition, consumers who are unable to access or navigate the Commission’s Web site can file an informal objection to a renewal application by mail. Consumers can also contact the Commission toll-free by telephone to file an informal complaint against a station. 15. Eliminating the correspondence file requirement will have the added benefit of permitting commercial broadcasters to transition to an entirely online public file and cease maintaining a local public file. This change will reduce regulatory burdens on commercial broadcasters and allow them to realize the cost savings and other efficiencies of an entirely online file. Eliminating the correspondence file will also advance regulatory parity by providing commercial broadcasters with the same opportunity as other entities with online file requirements to provide online access to all public file materials, and will permit commercial licensees concerned about security to limit public access to a station’s facilities. 16. We note that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires television licensees to include in their license renewal application ‘‘a summary of written comments and suggestions’’ that are both ‘‘received from the public,’’ and ‘‘maintained by the licensee (in accordance with Commission regulations),’’ and that ‘‘comment on the applicant’s programming, if any, and that are characterized by the commenter as constituting violent programming.’’ See 47 U.S.C. 308(d). The Commission determined in the 1999 Main Studio and Public File Order, 64 FR 35941, July 2, 1999, that noncommercial PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 broadcasters are not subject to this requirement because section 308(d) requires licensees to summarize correspondence maintained by licensees ‘‘in accordance with Commission regulations’’ and ‘‘noncommercial educational licensees are not required to maintain these letters under our rules.’’ It follows from this determination that because commercial TV licensees will no longer be required to maintain correspondence under our rules, under the terms of section 308(d) they also will not be required to file a summary of correspondence received regarding violent programming with their renewal application. Our extension of our 1999 determination moots the Broadcaster Coalition request that the Commission clarify that such communications may be retained in a non-public file and that the retention period for such communications is three years, consistent with the correspondence file retention period requirement, rather than the eight-year license term. The Commission’s license renewal application, FCC Form 303–S, directs commercial TV and Class A TV applicants to submit a summary of written communications received from the public regarding violent programming. We delegate authority to the Media Bureau to revise this form and instructions consistent with our decision to eliminate the correspondence file requirement. 17. The rule changes we are adopting herein must be approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The Media Bureau will issue a Public Notice announcing such approval and the effective date of the rules. Commercial broadcasters must continue to retain a correspondence file locally and make it available for public inspection until the effective date of the new rules. B. Principal Headend Location 18. As we proposed in the NPRM, we also eliminate the requirement that cable operators retain information about the designation and location of the system’s principal headend in the public inspection file. No commenter opposed this proposal. All commenters who addressed the issue agreed with our conclusion in the NPRM that the general public has no need for or interest in this information. 19. While the general public has no need for information about the location of a cable system’s principal headend, that information must be accessible to the Commission as needed to permit enforcement of cable carriage and signal leakage requirements and to avoid E:\FR\FM\23FER1.SGM 23FER1 rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 35 / Thursday, February 23, 2017 / Rules and Regulations interference to and from cable headends. For example, the Commission must know the location of the principal headend to conduct tests to determine compliance with signal leakage requirements. In addition, the Commission must know the location of a principal headend in order to ensure that the facilities are not causing interference to, or receiving interference from, other communications facilities. The Commission currently does not maintain principal headend location information for most cable systems. Broadcast television stations also must have access to principal headend location information to determine cable carriage rights. 20. To ensure that the Commission has access to principal headend location information, we will require that all cable systems provide it to us promptly upon request made by phone, email, or other means. Systems must also provide this information upon request to broadcast television stations and franchisors. In lieu of responding to individual requests for principal headend location information, systems may alternatively elect voluntarily to input this information into OPIF or provide it to the Commission by mail or email to be included in that database. Systems that elect to provide this information in OPIF may choose to make it accessible only to the Commission or also make it publicly available. Inputting headend information into OPIF will be a simple task and, for cable operators that choose this option, will obviate responding to inquiries about their headend location from Commission staff. In addition, systems that input the information directly into OPIF can elect to make it immediately available to the public and thereby also eliminate the necessity of providing information in response to other requests for principal headend location information. 21. Systems that elect not to provide principal headend information in OPIF, or that elect to protect this information from public view, will be required to make it available to broadcast television stations and local franchisors upon request. If a request is submitted to a cable system from a broadcaster or local franchisor in writing by certified mail, cable systems must respond in writing by certified mail within 15 calendar days. Cable systems may in addition elect to respond to requests from these entities submitted by telephone or email, but must respond in writing by certified mail if requested to do so by the station or franchisor. Systems that choose to provide principal headend information to the FCC by email or mail, VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:37 Feb 22, 2017 Jkt 241001 and that state that it can be made public in OPIF, must provide it to stations upon request until their information appears in the OPIF database. 22. After the rules adopted in this order are approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Media Bureau will issue a Public Notice (PN) announcing the effective date of the rules. The Media Bureau will provide in the PN instructions on how to access and use the OPIF database, addresses to be used to send the information directly to the Commission, and the telephone number for technical assistance with OPIF. 23. The actions we take today will reduce burdens for cable system operators, particularly those with security concerns about posting principal headend location information online. By eliminating the principal headend public file requirement, we enable these systems to transition to a fully online public file and benefit from the long-term cost-savings and other efficiencies associated with an online file. While these systems must provide principal headend information to the Commission, broadcasters, and franchisors upon request, this requirement is minimal and should not be onerous. Commenters report that systems receive very few, if any, requests for this information. Any burden from these new requirements is more than offset by the benefit of no longer being required to maintain a local public file to retain principal headend location information. Moreover, cable systems that elect voluntarily to provide principal headend location information to the Commission to be maintained in OPIF, and that elect to make this information publicly available, can direct anyone requesting principal headend location information to that database in lieu of responding to individual requests. 24. We disagree with ACA that small cable systems should have the option to retain principal headend location locally and provide it to the Commission, television stations, and franchisors on request made in person at their facilities. Requiring entities to make an in-person visit to the system to obtain this information, should that be necessary, would be unduly burdensome, particularly as there are other simple, essentially costless means for the system to provide the information to entities that need it. Moreover, as the Commission currently does not have information regarding the address of the principal headend or local business office for many small systems, Commission staff often would not know where to go in person to PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 11409 request principal headend location information. IV. Procedural Matters A. Final Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis 25. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was incorporated in the NPRM in MB Docket 16–161. The Commission sought written public comment on the proposals in the NPRM, including comment on the IRFA. We received no comments specifically directed toward the IRFA. This Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) conforms to the RFA. 1. Need for, and Objectives of, Report and Order 26. The Report and Order eliminates two public inspection file requirements—the requirement that commercial broadcast stations retain in their public inspection file copies of letters and emails from the public (referred to as the ‘‘correspondence file’’) and the requirement that cable operators maintain for public inspection the designation and location of the cable system’s principal headend. We conclude that these two components of our public inspection file rules involve documents or information that do not need to be made available to the general public and that eliminating these rules will reduce the burden of maintaining the public inspection file on commercial broadcasters and cable operators. Our action today will also permit commercial television and radio broadcasters and cable operators to cease maintaining a local public inspection file if they post all public file material to the online public file database and provide online access via their own Web site to back-up political file material. The Commission previously adopted this option for other entities subject to our online public inspection file requirements. Because the correspondence file cannot be made available online for privacy reasons and because many cable operators prefer not to post the location of their principal headend online for security reasons, removing these requirements will permit commercial broadcasters and cable operators to elect to make their entire public inspection file available online and cease maintaining a local public file, thereby further reducing overall regulatory burdens on these entities. The Report and Order also delegates to the Media Bureau the authority to revise FCC Form 303–S to reflect the fact that, consistent with the E:\FR\FM\23FER1.SGM 23FER1 11410 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 35 / Thursday, February 23, 2017 / Rules and Regulations language of 47 U.S.C. 308(d), commercial TV and Class A TV licensees will no longer be required to submit with their renewal applications a summary of written communications received from the public regarding violent programming. rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES 2. Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to the IRFA 27. No comments were filed in response to the IRFA. 3. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Proposed Rules Will Apply 28. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules, if adopted. The RFA generally defines the term ‘‘small entity’’ as having the same meaning as the terms ‘‘small business,’’ ‘‘small organization,’’ and ‘‘small governmental jurisdiction.’’ In addition, the term ‘‘small business’’ has the same meaning as the term ‘‘small business concern’’ under the Small Business Act. A small business concern is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA. Below, we provide a description of such small entities, as well as an estimate of the number of such small entities, where feasible. 29. Television Broadcasting. This economic Census category ‘‘comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting images together with sound.’’ The SBA has created the following small business size standard for such businesses: Those having $38.5 million or less in annual receipts. The 2012 U.S. Census indicates that 751 firms in this category operated in that year. Of that number, 656 had annual receipts of $25,000,000 or less. Because the Census has no additional classifications that could serve as a basis for determining the number of stations whose receipts exceeded $38.5 million in that year, we conclude that the majority of television broadcast stations were small under the applicable SBA size standard. 30. Apart from the U.S. Census, the Commission has estimated the number of licensed commercial television stations to be 1,387 stations. Of this total, 1,221 stations (or about 88 percent) had revenues of $38.5 million or less, according to Commission staff review of the BIA Kelsey Inc. Media Access Pro Television Database (BIA) on July 2, 2014. In addition, the VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:37 Feb 22, 2017 Jkt 241001 Commission has estimated the number of licensed Class A television stations to be 417. Given the nature of these services, we will presume that these licensees qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. Based on these data, we estimate that the majority of television broadcast stations are small entities. 31. We note, however, that in assessing whether a business concern qualifies as ‘‘small’’ under the above definition, business (control) affiliations must be included. Because we do not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies in determining whether an entity meets the revenue threshold noted above, our estimate of the number of small entities affected is likely overstated. In addition, we note that one element of the definition of ‘‘small business’’ is that an entity not be dominant in its field of operation. We are unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific television broadcast station is dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, our estimate of small television stations potentially affected by the proposed rules includes those that could be dominant in their field of operation. For this reason, such estimate likely is over-inclusive. 32. Radio Broadcasting. The SBA defines a radio broadcast station as a small business if such station has no more than $38.5 million in annual receipts. Business concerns included in this industry are those ‘‘primarily engaged in broadcasting aural programs by radio to the public.’’ According to review of the BIA Publications, Inc. Master Access Radio Analyzer Database as of November 26, 2013, about 11,331 (or about 99.9 percent) of the then number of commercial radio stations (11,341) have revenues of $35.5 million or less and thus qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. The Commission has estimated the number of licensed commercial radio stations to be 11,408. We note that in assessing whether a business entity qualifies as small under the above definition, business control affiliations must be included. This estimate, therefore, likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected, because the revenue figure on which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. 33. As noted above, an element of the definition of ‘‘small business’’ is that the entity not be dominant in its field of operation. The Commission is unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a specific radio station is dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, the PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 estimate of small businesses to which rules may apply does not exclude any radio station from the definition of a small business on this basis and therefore may be over-inclusive to that extent. Also, as noted, an additional element of the definition of ‘‘small business’’ is that the entity must be independently owned and operated. The Commission notes that it is difficult at times to assess these criteria in the context of media entities and the estimates of small businesses to which they apply may be over-inclusive to this extent. 34. Cable Companies and Systems. The Commission has developed its own small business size standards for the purpose of cable rate regulation. Under the Commission’s rules, a ‘‘small cable company’’ is one serving 400,000 or fewer subscribers nationwide. Industry data shows that there are currently 660 cable operators. Of this total, all but ten cable operators nationwide are small under this size standard. In addition, under the Commission’s rate regulation rules, a ‘‘small system’’ is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers. Current Commission records show 4,421 cable systems nationwide. Of this total, 3,936 cable systems have less than 20,000 subscribers, and 485 systems have 20,000 or more subscribers, based on the same records. Thus, under this standard, we estimate that most cable systems are small entities. 35. Cable System Operators (Telecom Act Standard). The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, also contains a size standard for small cable system operators, which is ‘‘a cable operator that, directly or through an affiliate, serves in the aggregate fewer than 1 percent of all subscribers in the United States and is not affiliated with any entity or entities whose gross annual revenues in the aggregate exceed $250,000,000.’’ There are approximately 53 million cable video subscribers in the United States today. Accordingly, an operator serving fewer than 540,000 subscribers shall be deemed a small operator if its annual revenues, when combined with the total annual revenues of all its affiliates, do not exceed $250 million in the aggregate. Based on available data, we find that all but ten incumbent cable operators are small entities under this size standard. We note that the Commission neither requests nor collects information on whether cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250 million. Although it seems certain that some of these cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross annual revenues exceed $250,000,000, E:\FR\FM\23FER1.SGM 23FER1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 35 / Thursday, February 23, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 5. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES we are unable at this time to estimate with greater precision the number of cable system operators that would qualify as small cable operators under the definition in the Communications Act. 4. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements 36. The rule changes adopted in the Report and Order will reduce reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements for commercial broadcast stations which, prior to our action today, were required to retain letters and emails from the public in their local public inspection file. The Report and Order eliminates this requirement, thereby reducing recordkeeping burdens on these entities. In addition, eliminating the correspondence file requirement will permit commercial radio and television stations to fully transition to an online public file and cease maintaining a local public file, allowing them to realize the long-term cost savings associated with the online public file. The elimination of the requirement that commercial television and Class A licensees include in their license renewal applications a summary of communications received from the public regarding violent programming will also reduce regulatory burdens on these licensees. 37. The actions we take today will also reduce burdens for cable system operators, particularly those with security concerns about posting principal headend location information online. By eliminating the principal headend public file requirement, we enable these systems to transition to a fully online public file and benefit from the long-term cost-savings and other efficiencies associated with an online file. While these systems must provide principal headend information to the Commission, broadcasters, and franchisors upon request, this requirement is minimal and should not be onerous. Commenters report that systems receive very few, if any, requests for this information. Any burden from these new requirements is more than offset by the benefit of no longer being required to maintain a local public file to retain principal headend location information. Moreover, cable systems that elect voluntarily to provide principal headend location information to the Commission to be maintained in OPIF, and that elect to make this information publicly available, can direct those requesting principal headend location information to that database in lieu of responding to individual requests. VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:37 Feb 22, 2017 Jkt 241001 38. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): (1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities. 39. Alternative options discussed in the NPRM included requiring cable systems to file a form with the FCC to provide principal headend information. Requiring systems to instead provide this information upon request is less burdensome than a requirement to file a form. While ACA urged the FCC to simply permit small cable systems to retain principal headend information locally and provide it upon request to entities who ask for it in person, requiring entities to make an in-person visit to the system to obtain this information would be overly burdensome, particularly as there are other simple, essentially costless means for the system to provide the information to entities that need it. Moreover, as the FCC currently does not have information regarding the address of the principal headend or local business office for many of small systems, it would not know where to go to request principal headend location information. Overall, we believe that the Report and Order appropriately balances the interests of the public against the interests of the entities who will be subject to the rules, including those that are smaller entities. 6. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rule 40. None. B. Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis 41. This document contains new or modified information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104–13. It will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under section 3507(d) of the PRA. OMB, the general public, and other Federal agencies are invited to comment on the new or modified PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 11411 information collection requirements contained in this proceeding. In addition, we note that pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107–198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we previously sought specific comment on how the Commission might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. C. Congressional Review Act 42. The Commission will send a copy of the Report and Order to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act. V. Ordering Clauses 43. Accordingly, it is ordered that, pursuant to the authority contained in sections 1, 4(i), 4(j), 303(r), 614, and 615 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 303(r), 614, and 615, the Report and Order is hereby adopted. 44. It is further ordered that parts 73 and 76 of the Commission’s rules, 47 CFR part 73, 76, are amended as set forth in Appendix B of the Report and Order. Such rule amendments contain new or modified information collection requirements that require approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), and shall become effective after publication in the Federal Register of a notice announcing such approval and the relevant effective date. 45. It is further ordered that the Commission’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of the Report and Order including the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. 46. It is further ordered that the Commission shall send a copy of the Report and Order in a report to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A). List of Subjects 47 CFR Part 73 Radio, Recording and recordkeeping requirements, Television. 47 CFR Part 76 Cable television, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. E:\FR\FM\23FER1.SGM 23FER1 11412 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 35 / Thursday, February 23, 2017 / Rules and Regulations Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Final Rules For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR parts 73 and 76 as follows: PART 73—RADIO BROADCAST SERVICES PART 76—MULTICHANNEL VIDEO AND CABLE TELVISION SERVICE 1. The authority citation for part 73 continues to read as follows: ■ 4. The authority citation for part 76 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 47.U.S.C. 154, 303, 307, and 554. § 73.1202 [Removed and Reserved]. 2. Section 73.1202 is removed and reserved. ■ 3. Section 73.3526 is amended by revising paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2)(i) and removing and reserving paragraph (e)(9), The revisions read as follows: ■ § 73.3526 Local public inspection file of commercial stations. VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:37 Feb 22, 2017 Jkt 241001 Authority: 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 153, 154, 301, 302, 302a, 303, 303a, 307, 308, 309, 312, 315, 317, 325, 339, 340, 341, 503, 521, 522, 531, 532, 534, 535, 536, 537, 543, 544, 544a, 545, 548, 549, 552, 554, 556, 558, 560, 561, 571, 572, 573. 5. Section 76.5 is amended by revising paragraph (pp)(2) to read as follows: ■ § 76.5 Definitions. * * * * * (b) * * * (1) For radio licensees temporarily exempt from the online public file hosted by the Commission, as discussed in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, a hard copy of the public inspection file shall be maintained at the main studio of the station, unless the licensee elects voluntarily to place the file online as discussed in paragraph (b)(2) of this section. An applicant for a new station or change of community shall maintain its file at an accessible place in the proposed community of license or at its proposed main studio. (2)(i) A television station licensee or applicant, and any radio station licensee or applicant not temporarily exempt as described in this paragraph, shall place the contents required by paragraph (e) of this section of its public inspection file in the online public file hosted by the Commission, with the exception of the political file as required by paragraph (e)(6) of this section, as discussed in paragraph (b)(3) of this section. Any radio station not in the top 50 Nielsen Audio markets, and any radio station with fewer than five full-time employees, shall continue to retain the public inspection file at the station in rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES * the manner discussed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section until March 1, 2018. However, any radio station that is not required to place its public inspection file in the online public file hosted by the Commission before March 1, 2018 may choose to do so, instead of retaining the public inspection file at the station in the manner discussed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. * * * * * * * * * (pp) * * * (2) In the case of a cable system with more than one headend, the principal headend designated by the cable operator, except that such designation shall not undermine or evade the requirements of subpart D of this part. Each cable system must provide information regarding the designation and location of the principal headend to the Commission promptly upon request. Except for good cause, an operator may not change its choice of principal headend. Cable systems may elect voluntarily to provide the location of the principal headend in the Commission’s online public inspection file database and may choose whether to make this information accessible only by the Commission or to also make it publicly available. Systems that elect not to provide this information in the online file, or to protect this information in the online file from public view, must make it available to broadcast television stations and local franchisors upon request. If a request is submitted by a television station or franchisor in writing by certified mail, cable systems must respond in writing by certified mail within 15 calendar days. Cable systems may in addition elect to respond to requests from these entities PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 submitted by telephone or email, but must respond in writing by certified mail if requested to do so by the station or franchisor. * * * * * 6. Section 76.1700 is amended by revising paragraph (a) introductory text, removing paragraph (a)(6), and redesignating (a)(7) through (10) as (a)(6) through (9), respectively. The revision reads as follows: ■ § 76.1700 Records to be maintained by cable system operators. (a) Public inspection file. The following records must be placed in the online public file hosted by the Commission, except as indicated in paragraph (d) of this section and except that the records listed in paragraph (a)(1) of this section (political file) that are in existence 30 days after the effective date of this provision, if not placed in the online file, shall continue to be retained at the system and made available to the public in the manner discussed in paragraph (e) of this section until the end of the retention period. In addition, any cable system with fewer than 5,000 subscribers shall continue to retain the political file at the system in the manner discussed in paragraph (e) of this section until March 1, 2018. For these systems, effective March 1, 2018, any new political file material shall be placed in the online file hosted by the Commission, while the material in the political file as of March 1, 2018, if not placed in the Commission’s online public file, shall continue to be retained at the system in the manner discussed in paragraph (e) of this section until the end of its retention period. However, any system that is not required to place its political file in the Commission’s online public file before March 1, 2018 may choose to do so, instead of retaining the political file at the system in the manner discussed in paragraph (e) of this section. * * * * * § 76.1708 [Removed and Reserved]. 7. Section 76.1708 is removed and reserved. ■ [FR Doc. 2017–03465 Filed 2–22–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712–01–P E:\FR\FM\23FER1.SGM 23FER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 35 (Thursday, February 23, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 11406-11412]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-03465]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Parts 73 and 76

[MB Docket No. 16-161; FCC 17-3]


Expansion of Revisions to Public Inspection File Requirements--
Broadcaster Correspondence File and Cable Principal Headend Location

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission 
(Commission) eliminates two public inspection file requirements: The 
requirement that commercial broadcast stations retain in their public 
inspection file copies of letters and emails from the public; and the 
requirement that cable operators maintain for public inspection the 
designation and location of the cable system's principal headend. Our 
actions will reduce regulatory burdens on commercial broadcasters and 
cable operators, advance regulatory parity with respect to our public 
file requirements among various program distributors, and improve 
security at local stations and principal headend locations.

DATES: Effective February 23, 2017, except for the amendments to 
Sec. Sec.  73.3526, 76.5, 76.1700, and 76.1708, which contain 
information collection requirements that have not been approved by OMB. 
The Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register 
announcing the effective date of those amendments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kim Matthews, Media Bureau, Policy 
Division, 202-418-2154, or email at kim.matthews@fcc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Report 
and Order, FCC 17-3, adopted on January 31, 2017 and released on 
January 31, 2017. The full text of this document is available for 
public inspection and copying during regular business hours in the FCC 
Reference Center, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street 
SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. This document will also be 
available via ECFS at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/. Documents will be 
available electronically in ASCII, Microsoft Word, and/or Adobe 
Acrobat. Alternative formats are available for people with disabilities 
(Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), by sending an 
email to fcc504@fcc.gov or calling the Commission's Consumer and 
Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 
(TTY).

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

    The Report and Order contains new or modified information 
collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 
(PRA). The requirements will be submitted to the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) for review under section 3507(d) of the PRA. OMB, the 
general public, and other Federal agencies will be invited to comment 
on the new or modified information collection requirements contained in 
this proceeding. In addition, we note that pursuant to the Small 
Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, we previously sought specific 
comment on how the Commission might further reduce the information 
collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 
employees.

Summary

I. Introduction

    1. In the Report and Order, we eliminate two public inspection file 
requirements: (i) The requirement that commercial broadcast stations 
retain in their public inspection file copies of letters and emails 
from the public; and (ii) the requirement that cable operators maintain 
for public inspection the designation and location of the cable 
system's principal headend. Because of potential privacy concerns 
associated with putting the correspondence file online and because many 
cable operators prefer not to post online the location of their 
principal headend for security reasons, removing these requirements 
will enable commercial broadcasters and cable operators to make their 
entire public inspection file available online without these privacy 
and security concerns and eliminate the need to maintain a local public 
file.
    2. Principal headend location information must be accessible to the 
Commission, however, to enable it to enforce its signal leakage rules 
and to respond to must-carry and signal leakage complaints. In 
addition, broadcast television stations must have access to this 
information in order to exercise their must-carry rights and 
franchisors may need it in connection with their oversight of local 
cable systems and operations. Accordingly, we will require cable 
systems to provide principal headend location information to these 
entities upon request. In lieu of responding to individual requests for 
such information, operators may alternatively elect voluntarily to 
provide this information to the Commission for inclusion in the 
Commission's online public inspection file (``OPIF'') database and may 
elect to make the information publicly available there.
    3. Eliminating the correspondence file and principal headend public 
file requirements will reduce regulatory burdens on commercial 
broadcasters and cable operators. By permitting these entities to cease 
maintaining a local public file, our actions will also advance

[[Page 11407]]

regulatory parity with respect to our public file requirements among 
various program distributors and improve security at local stations and 
principal headend locations.

II. Background

A. Correspondence File

    4. Section 73.3526(e)(9) of the Commission's rules provides that 
commercial broadcast stations must retain in their public inspection 
file ``[a]ll written comments and suggestions received from the public 
regarding operation of the station unless the letter writer has 
requested that the letter not be made public or the licensee believes 
the letter should be excluded from public inspection because of the 
nature of its content,'' such as a situation in which a letter contains 
content that is defamatory or obscene. The rule expressly includes 
email messages transmitted to station management or to an email address 
publicized by the station.
    5. As discussed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in this 
proceeding, Revisions to Public Inspection File Requirements--
Broadcaster Correspondence File and Cable Principal Headend Location, 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 81 FR 40617, June 22, 2016 (NPRM), the 
Commission first required commercial radio and television broadcasters 
to retain written comments and suggestions from the public and make 
them available for public inspection in 1973. The original 
correspondence file rule was adopted together with a requirement that 
commercial broadcast stations air regular announcements ``informing the 
public of the licensee's obligation to the public and of the 
appropriate method for individuals to express their opinions of the 
station's operation.'' The purpose of the correspondence file was ``to 
permit a member of the public to better determine the nature of 
community feedback being received by the licensees and the extent to 
which his or her opinions regarding community problems and needs and/or 
the licensee's station operation might be shared by other members of 
the community.'' The Commission later removed the requirement that 
licensees air announcements regarding their obligations to the public, 
noting that section 73.3580 of the rules requires that both commercial 
and noncommercial stations make announcements in connection with the 
filing of their license renewal applications and concluding that these 
renewal application announcements were sufficient to inform the public 
of the ``Commission's oversight functions and the availability of 
public recourse.'' The Commission, however, retained the requirement 
that licensees keep all written comments and suggestions received from 
the public in their public inspection files.
    6. The correspondence file requirement applies only to commercial 
broadcasters; there is no similar requirement for noncommercial 
broadcasters. There is also no correspondence file requirement for 
cable operators, DBS providers, or satellite radio licensees, all of 
which have other public inspection file obligations.

B. Principal Headend Location

    7. Section 76.1708 of the Commission's rules requires operators of 
all cable television systems to ``maintain for public inspection the 
designation and location of [the system's] principal headend. If an 
operator changes the designation of its principal headend, that new 
designation must also be included in its public file.'' The Commission 
first adopted the principal headend public file requirement in a 1993 
order implementing the must-carry and retransmission consent provisions 
of the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 
1992. Implementation of the Cable Television Consumer Protection and 
Competition Act of 1992, Broadcast Signal Carriage Issues, Report and 
Order, 58 FR 17350, April 2,1993 (``Must-Carry Order''). Under the 
Cable Act, commercial television stations must deliver a good quality 
signal to a cable system's ``principal headend'' in order to be 
eligible for must-carry rights on that system. The Cable Act's 
provisions regarding eligibility for must-carry rights for 
noncommercial and low power television stations also refer to a cable 
system's ``principal headend.'' In the Must-Carry Order, the Commission 
required cable systems to retain various records relating to must-carry 
obligations in their public file, including, as noted above, the 
designation and location of the system's principal headend.

C. Online Public Inspection File

    8. In 2012, the Commission adopted online public inspection file 
rules for television broadcasters that required them to post public 
file documents to a central, FCC-hosted online database rather than 
maintaining files locally at their main studios. See Television Online 
Public File Order, 77 FR 27631, May 11, 2012. However, in the 
Television Online Public File Order, the Commission determined that 
letters and emails from the public should not be uploaded to the online 
file, but should instead continue to be maintained at the station's 
main studio. The Commission concluded that including letters and emails 
from the public in the online file could risk exposing personally 
identifiable information and that requiring stations to redact such 
information prior to uploading these documents would be overly 
burdensome.
    9. In January 2016, the Commission adopted the Expanded Online 
Public File Order, 81 FR 10105, February 29, 2016, in which it added 
cable operators, DBS providers, broadcast radio licensees, and 
satellite radio licensees to the list of entities required to post 
their public inspection files to the FCC-hosted online database. With 
respect to commercial radio licensees, the Commission concluded, 
consistent with the decision reached in the Television Online Public 
File Order, that it would exempt letters and emails from the public 
from the requirement to file online and instead require stations to 
continue to retain such material in their local public file. The 
Commission also concluded that it would not require cable operators to 
include principal headend location information in the online public 
file and gave operators the option instead to continue to retain this 
information in their local public file.
    10. The Commission determined in the Expanded Online Public File 
Order that entities that upload all public file material to the 
Commission's online database and that also provide online access to 
back-up political file documents via the entity's own Web site when the 
Commission's online database is temporarily unavailable will not be 
required to maintain a local public file. The Commission noted, 
however, that this option is not available to commercial broadcast 
licensees, which must continue to retain a correspondence file that 
cannot be made available online for privacy reasons. In the NPRM, the 
Commission tentatively concluded that it should eliminate the 
correspondence file requirement. As requested by NCTA, we also proposed 
in the NPRM to eliminate the requirement that cable operators retain 
information regarding the location of their principal headend in the 
public inspection file. We noted that the general public has no 
interest in this information and that eliminating this public file 
requirement would permit operators who feel the need to avoid posting 
this information online for security reasons to cease retaining this

[[Page 11408]]

information locally and to transition to a fully online public 
inspection file.

III. Discussion

A. Correspondence File

    11. As we proposed in the NPRM, we eliminate the requirement that 
commercial broadcast stations retain letters and emails from the public 
in their public inspection files. We agree with those commenters who 
argue that retention of letters and emails is not necessary to ensure 
that broadcasters comply with their public interest obligation to air 
programming that is responsive to the needs and interests of their 
community of license. Viewers and listeners can continue to communicate 
directly with stations by letter, email, social media, telephone, or 
other means; the only change is that stations will no longer be 
required to retain letters and emails and make them publicly available 
in their local public file.
    12. We agree with the Broadcaster Coalition that stations are 
likely to continue to respond to concerns raised by consumers even 
though they are no longer required to retain all written communications 
for public inspection. Stations have an economic incentive to be 
responsive to their consumers. The Broadcaster Coalition notes that, as 
they have with letters and emails from the public, stations now monitor 
their social media accounts to understand viewers' reactions to stories 
and obtain feedback about the operation of the station. We also agree 
with those commenters who note that the volume of commentary on social 
media sites about a station's performance is likely to far exceed the 
number of letters and emails a station receives. Unlike the 
correspondence file, these Internet postings are readily available 
online where they can be viewed by interested parties.
    13. Our action today will have little, if any, impact on the 
Commission's role in reviewing licensee performance. As we stated in 
the NPRM, the Commission's scrutiny of most licensee conduct occurs in 
conjunction with consideration of a station's license renewal 
application. Interested listeners and viewers may file petitions or 
objections concerning licensee performance at the time the station 
files its renewal application. Licensees are required to air 
announcements notifying their viewers and listeners that they have the 
opportunity to provide feedback during the Commission's review of the 
license renewal application. Petitions and objections filed in 
connection with a license renewal application are accessible by the 
public in the Commission's Consolidated Database System (CDBS). 
Interested parties may also file formal and informal complaints at any 
time during a station's license period. The Commission maintains a 
public Web site that permits consumers to file informal complaints 
directly with the Commission.
    14. While we recognize that some consumers may not have Internet 
access at home, lack access to broadband, or lack digital media skills, 
we disagree with those commenters who argue that these concerns warrant 
requiring commercial broadcasters to continue to maintain a 
correspondence file. The record suggests that few consumers seek access 
to the correspondence file. Consumers can continue to communicate 
directly with stations by letter or telephone and those without 
Internet access at home may also be able to access the online public 
file from locations, such as public libraries, that provide Internet 
access to the public. In addition, consumers who are unable to access 
or navigate the Commission's Web site can file an informal objection to 
a renewal application by mail. Consumers can also contact the 
Commission toll-free by telephone to file an informal complaint against 
a station.
    15. Eliminating the correspondence file requirement will have the 
added benefit of permitting commercial broadcasters to transition to an 
entirely online public file and cease maintaining a local public file. 
This change will reduce regulatory burdens on commercial broadcasters 
and allow them to realize the cost savings and other efficiencies of an 
entirely online file. Eliminating the correspondence file will also 
advance regulatory parity by providing commercial broadcasters with the 
same opportunity as other entities with online file requirements to 
provide online access to all public file materials, and will permit 
commercial licensees concerned about security to limit public access to 
a station's facilities.
    16. We note that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires 
television licensees to include in their license renewal application 
``a summary of written comments and suggestions'' that are both 
``received from the public,'' and ``maintained by the licensee (in 
accordance with Commission regulations),'' and that ``comment on the 
applicant's programming, if any, and that are characterized by the 
commenter as constituting violent programming.'' See 47 U.S.C. 308(d). 
The Commission determined in the 1999 Main Studio and Public File 
Order, 64 FR 35941, July 2, 1999, that noncommercial broadcasters are 
not subject to this requirement because section 308(d) requires 
licensees to summarize correspondence maintained by licensees ``in 
accordance with Commission regulations'' and ``noncommercial 
educational licensees are not required to maintain these letters under 
our rules.'' It follows from this determination that because commercial 
TV licensees will no longer be required to maintain correspondence 
under our rules, under the terms of section 308(d) they also will not 
be required to file a summary of correspondence received regarding 
violent programming with their renewal application. Our extension of 
our 1999 determination moots the Broadcaster Coalition request that the 
Commission clarify that such communications may be retained in a non-
public file and that the retention period for such communications is 
three years, consistent with the correspondence file retention period 
requirement, rather than the eight-year license term. The Commission's 
license renewal application, FCC Form 303-S, directs commercial TV and 
Class A TV applicants to submit a summary of written communications 
received from the public regarding violent programming. We delegate 
authority to the Media Bureau to revise this form and instructions 
consistent with our decision to eliminate the correspondence file 
requirement.
    17. The rule changes we are adopting herein must be approved by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act 
(PRA). The Media Bureau will issue a Public Notice announcing such 
approval and the effective date of the rules. Commercial broadcasters 
must continue to retain a correspondence file locally and make it 
available for public inspection until the effective date of the new 
rules.

B. Principal Headend Location

    18. As we proposed in the NPRM, we also eliminate the requirement 
that cable operators retain information about the designation and 
location of the system's principal headend in the public inspection 
file. No commenter opposed this proposal. All commenters who addressed 
the issue agreed with our conclusion in the NPRM that the general 
public has no need for or interest in this information.
    19. While the general public has no need for information about the 
location of a cable system's principal headend, that information must 
be accessible to the Commission as needed to permit enforcement of 
cable carriage and signal leakage requirements and to avoid

[[Page 11409]]

interference to and from cable headends. For example, the Commission 
must know the location of the principal headend to conduct tests to 
determine compliance with signal leakage requirements. In addition, the 
Commission must know the location of a principal headend in order to 
ensure that the facilities are not causing interference to, or 
receiving interference from, other communications facilities. The 
Commission currently does not maintain principal headend location 
information for most cable systems. Broadcast television stations also 
must have access to principal headend location information to determine 
cable carriage rights.
    20. To ensure that the Commission has access to principal headend 
location information, we will require that all cable systems provide it 
to us promptly upon request made by phone, email, or other means. 
Systems must also provide this information upon request to broadcast 
television stations and franchisors. In lieu of responding to 
individual requests for principal headend location information, systems 
may alternatively elect voluntarily to input this information into OPIF 
or provide it to the Commission by mail or email to be included in that 
database. Systems that elect to provide this information in OPIF may 
choose to make it accessible only to the Commission or also make it 
publicly available. Inputting headend information into OPIF will be a 
simple task and, for cable operators that choose this option, will 
obviate responding to inquiries about their headend location from 
Commission staff. In addition, systems that input the information 
directly into OPIF can elect to make it immediately available to the 
public and thereby also eliminate the necessity of providing 
information in response to other requests for principal headend 
location information.
    21. Systems that elect not to provide principal headend information 
in OPIF, or that elect to protect this information from public view, 
will be required to make it available to broadcast television stations 
and local franchisors upon request. If a request is submitted to a 
cable system from a broadcaster or local franchisor in writing by 
certified mail, cable systems must respond in writing by certified mail 
within 15 calendar days. Cable systems may in addition elect to respond 
to requests from these entities submitted by telephone or email, but 
must respond in writing by certified mail if requested to do so by the 
station or franchisor. Systems that choose to provide principal headend 
information to the FCC by email or mail, and that state that it can be 
made public in OPIF, must provide it to stations upon request until 
their information appears in the OPIF database.
    22. After the rules adopted in this order are approved by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Media Bureau will issue a 
Public Notice (PN) announcing the effective date of the rules. The 
Media Bureau will provide in the PN instructions on how to access and 
use the OPIF database, addresses to be used to send the information 
directly to the Commission, and the telephone number for technical 
assistance with OPIF.
    23. The actions we take today will reduce burdens for cable system 
operators, particularly those with security concerns about posting 
principal headend location information online. By eliminating the 
principal headend public file requirement, we enable these systems to 
transition to a fully online public file and benefit from the long-term 
cost-savings and other efficiencies associated with an online file. 
While these systems must provide principal headend information to the 
Commission, broadcasters, and franchisors upon request, this 
requirement is minimal and should not be onerous. Commenters report 
that systems receive very few, if any, requests for this information. 
Any burden from these new requirements is more than offset by the 
benefit of no longer being required to maintain a local public file to 
retain principal headend location information. Moreover, cable systems 
that elect voluntarily to provide principal headend location 
information to the Commission to be maintained in OPIF, and that elect 
to make this information publicly available, can direct anyone 
requesting principal headend location information to that database in 
lieu of responding to individual requests.
    24. We disagree with ACA that small cable systems should have the 
option to retain principal headend location locally and provide it to 
the Commission, television stations, and franchisors on request made in 
person at their facilities. Requiring entities to make an in-person 
visit to the system to obtain this information, should that be 
necessary, would be unduly burdensome, particularly as there are other 
simple, essentially costless means for the system to provide the 
information to entities that need it. Moreover, as the Commission 
currently does not have information regarding the address of the 
principal headend or local business office for many small systems, 
Commission staff often would not know where to go in person to request 
principal headend location information.

IV. Procedural Matters

A. Final Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    25. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), an Initial 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was incorporated in the NPRM in 
MB Docket 16-161. The Commission sought written public comment on the 
proposals in the NPRM, including comment on the IRFA. We received no 
comments specifically directed toward the IRFA. This Final Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) conforms to the RFA.
1. Need for, and Objectives of, Report and Order
    26. The Report and Order eliminates two public inspection file 
requirements--the requirement that commercial broadcast stations retain 
in their public inspection file copies of letters and emails from the 
public (referred to as the ``correspondence file'') and the requirement 
that cable operators maintain for public inspection the designation and 
location of the cable system's principal headend. We conclude that 
these two components of our public inspection file rules involve 
documents or information that do not need to be made available to the 
general public and that eliminating these rules will reduce the burden 
of maintaining the public inspection file on commercial broadcasters 
and cable operators. Our action today will also permit commercial 
television and radio broadcasters and cable operators to cease 
maintaining a local public inspection file if they post all public file 
material to the online public file database and provide online access 
via their own Web site to back-up political file material. The 
Commission previously adopted this option for other entities subject to 
our online public inspection file requirements. Because the 
correspondence file cannot be made available online for privacy reasons 
and because many cable operators prefer not to post the location of 
their principal headend online for security reasons, removing these 
requirements will permit commercial broadcasters and cable operators to 
elect to make their entire public inspection file available online and 
cease maintaining a local public file, thereby further reducing overall 
regulatory burdens on these entities. The Report and Order also 
delegates to the Media Bureau the authority to revise FCC Form 303-S to 
reflect the fact that, consistent with the

[[Page 11410]]

language of 47 U.S.C. 308(d), commercial TV and Class A TV licensees 
will no longer be required to submit with their renewal applications a 
summary of written communications received from the public regarding 
violent programming.
2. Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response 
to the IRFA
    27. No comments were filed in response to the IRFA.
3. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which 
the Proposed Rules Will Apply
    28. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of and, where 
feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be 
affected by the proposed rules, if adopted. The RFA generally defines 
the term ``small entity'' as having the same meaning as the terms 
``small business,'' ``small organization,'' and ``small governmental 
jurisdiction.'' In addition, the term ``small business'' has the same 
meaning as the term ``small business concern'' under the Small Business 
Act. A small business concern is one which: (1) Is independently owned 
and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) 
satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA. Below, we 
provide a description of such small entities, as well as an estimate of 
the number of such small entities, where feasible.
    29. Television Broadcasting. This economic Census category 
``comprises establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting images 
together with sound.'' The SBA has created the following small business 
size standard for such businesses: Those having $38.5 million or less 
in annual receipts. The 2012 U.S. Census indicates that 751 firms in 
this category operated in that year. Of that number, 656 had annual 
receipts of $25,000,000 or less. Because the Census has no additional 
classifications that could serve as a basis for determining the number 
of stations whose receipts exceeded $38.5 million in that year, we 
conclude that the majority of television broadcast stations were small 
under the applicable SBA size standard.
    30. Apart from the U.S. Census, the Commission has estimated the 
number of licensed commercial television stations to be 1,387 stations. 
Of this total, 1,221 stations (or about 88 percent) had revenues of 
$38.5 million or less, according to Commission staff review of the BIA 
Kelsey Inc. Media Access Pro Television Database (BIA) on July 2, 2014. 
In addition, the Commission has estimated the number of licensed Class 
A television stations to be 417. Given the nature of these services, we 
will presume that these licensees qualify as small entities under the 
SBA definition. Based on these data, we estimate that the majority of 
television broadcast stations are small entities.
    31. We note, however, that in assessing whether a business concern 
qualifies as ``small'' under the above definition, business (control) 
affiliations must be included. Because we do not include or aggregate 
revenues from affiliated companies in determining whether an entity 
meets the revenue threshold noted above, our estimate of the number of 
small entities affected is likely overstated. In addition, we note that 
one element of the definition of ``small business'' is that an entity 
not be dominant in its field of operation. We are unable at this time 
to define or quantify the criteria that would establish whether a 
specific television broadcast station is dominant in its field of 
operation. Accordingly, our estimate of small television stations 
potentially affected by the proposed rules includes those that could be 
dominant in their field of operation. For this reason, such estimate 
likely is over-inclusive.
    32. Radio Broadcasting. The SBA defines a radio broadcast station 
as a small business if such station has no more than $38.5 million in 
annual receipts. Business concerns included in this industry are those 
``primarily engaged in broadcasting aural programs by radio to the 
public.'' According to review of the BIA Publications, Inc. Master 
Access Radio Analyzer Database as of November 26, 2013, about 11,331 
(or about 99.9 percent) of the then number of commercial radio stations 
(11,341) have revenues of $35.5 million or less and thus qualify as 
small entities under the SBA definition. The Commission has estimated 
the number of licensed commercial radio stations to be 11,408. We note 
that in assessing whether a business entity qualifies as small under 
the above definition, business control affiliations must be included. 
This estimate, therefore, likely overstates the number of small 
entities that might be affected, because the revenue figure on which it 
is based does not include or aggregate revenues from affiliated 
companies.
    33. As noted above, an element of the definition of ``small 
business'' is that the entity not be dominant in its field of 
operation. The Commission is unable at this time to define or quantify 
the criteria that would establish whether a specific radio station is 
dominant in its field of operation. Accordingly, the estimate of small 
businesses to which rules may apply does not exclude any radio station 
from the definition of a small business on this basis and therefore may 
be over-inclusive to that extent. Also, as noted, an additional element 
of the definition of ``small business'' is that the entity must be 
independently owned and operated. The Commission notes that it is 
difficult at times to assess these criteria in the context of media 
entities and the estimates of small businesses to which they apply may 
be over-inclusive to this extent.
    34. Cable Companies and Systems. The Commission has developed its 
own small business size standards for the purpose of cable rate 
regulation. Under the Commission's rules, a ``small cable company'' is 
one serving 400,000 or fewer subscribers nationwide. Industry data 
shows that there are currently 660 cable operators. Of this total, all 
but ten cable operators nationwide are small under this size standard. 
In addition, under the Commission's rate regulation rules, a ``small 
system'' is a cable system serving 15,000 or fewer subscribers. Current 
Commission records show 4,421 cable systems nationwide. Of this total, 
3,936 cable systems have less than 20,000 subscribers, and 485 systems 
have 20,000 or more subscribers, based on the same records. Thus, under 
this standard, we estimate that most cable systems are small entities.
    35. Cable System Operators (Telecom Act Standard). The 
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, also contains a size standard 
for small cable system operators, which is ``a cable operator that, 
directly or through an affiliate, serves in the aggregate fewer than 1 
percent of all subscribers in the United States and is not affiliated 
with any entity or entities whose gross annual revenues in the 
aggregate exceed $250,000,000.'' There are approximately 53 million 
cable video subscribers in the United States today. Accordingly, an 
operator serving fewer than 540,000 subscribers shall be deemed a small 
operator if its annual revenues, when combined with the total annual 
revenues of all its affiliates, do not exceed $250 million in the 
aggregate. Based on available data, we find that all but ten incumbent 
cable operators are small entities under this size standard. We note 
that the Commission neither requests nor collects information on 
whether cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose gross 
annual revenues exceed $250 million. Although it seems certain that 
some of these cable system operators are affiliated with entities whose 
gross annual revenues exceed $250,000,000,

[[Page 11411]]

we are unable at this time to estimate with greater precision the 
number of cable system operators that would qualify as small cable 
operators under the definition in the Communications Act.
4. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other 
Compliance Requirements
    36. The rule changes adopted in the Report and Order will reduce 
reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements for 
commercial broadcast stations which, prior to our action today, were 
required to retain letters and emails from the public in their local 
public inspection file. The Report and Order eliminates this 
requirement, thereby reducing recordkeeping burdens on these entities. 
In addition, eliminating the correspondence file requirement will 
permit commercial radio and television stations to fully transition to 
an online public file and cease maintaining a local public file, 
allowing them to realize the long-term cost savings associated with the 
online public file. The elimination of the requirement that commercial 
television and Class A licensees include in their license renewal 
applications a summary of communications received from the public 
regarding violent programming will also reduce regulatory burdens on 
these licensees.
    37. The actions we take today will also reduce burdens for cable 
system operators, particularly those with security concerns about 
posting principal headend location information online. By eliminating 
the principal headend public file requirement, we enable these systems 
to transition to a fully online public file and benefit from the long-
term cost-savings and other efficiencies associated with an online 
file. While these systems must provide principal headend information to 
the Commission, broadcasters, and franchisors upon request, this 
requirement is minimal and should not be onerous. Commenters report 
that systems receive very few, if any, requests for this information. 
Any burden from these new requirements is more than offset by the 
benefit of no longer being required to maintain a local public file to 
retain principal headend location information. Moreover, cable systems 
that elect voluntarily to provide principal headend location 
information to the Commission to be maintained in OPIF, and that elect 
to make this information publicly available, can direct those 
requesting principal headend location information to that database in 
lieu of responding to individual requests.
5. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small 
Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered
    38. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant 
alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, 
which may include the following four alternatives (among others): (1) 
The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or 
timetables that take into account the resources available to small 
entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of 
compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; 
(3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an 
exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small 
entities.
    39. Alternative options discussed in the NPRM included requiring 
cable systems to file a form with the FCC to provide principal headend 
information. Requiring systems to instead provide this information upon 
request is less burdensome than a requirement to file a form. While ACA 
urged the FCC to simply permit small cable systems to retain principal 
headend information locally and provide it upon request to entities who 
ask for it in person, requiring entities to make an in-person visit to 
the system to obtain this information would be overly burdensome, 
particularly as there are other simple, essentially costless means for 
the system to provide the information to entities that need it. 
Moreover, as the FCC currently does not have information regarding the 
address of the principal headend or local business office for many of 
small systems, it would not know where to go to request principal 
headend location information. Overall, we believe that the Report and 
Order appropriately balances the interests of the public against the 
interests of the entities who will be subject to the rules, including 
those that are smaller entities.
6. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the 
Proposed Rule
    40. None.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

    41. This document contains new or modified information collection 
requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), 
Public Law 104-13. It will be submitted to the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) for review under section 3507(d) of the PRA. OMB, the 
general public, and other Federal agencies are invited to comment on 
the new or modified information collection requirements contained in 
this proceeding. In addition, we note that pursuant to the Small 
Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 
U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we previously sought specific comment on how the 
Commission might further reduce the information collection burden for 
small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

C. Congressional Review Act

    42. The Commission will send a copy of the Report and Order to 
Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the 
Congressional Review Act.

V. Ordering Clauses

    43. Accordingly, it is ordered that, pursuant to the authority 
contained in sections 1, 4(i), 4(j), 303(r), 614, and 615 of the 
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 
303(r), 614, and 615, the Report and Order is hereby adopted.
    44. It is further ordered that parts 73 and 76 of the Commission's 
rules, 47 CFR part 73, 76, are amended as set forth in Appendix B of 
the Report and Order. Such rule amendments contain new or modified 
information collection requirements that require approval by the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 
and shall become effective after publication in the Federal Register of 
a notice announcing such approval and the relevant effective date.
    45. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and 
Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a 
copy of the Report and Order including the Final Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration.
    46. It is further ordered that the Commission shall send a copy of 
the Report and Order in a report to Congress and the Government 
Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 
U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

List of Subjects

47 CFR Part 73

    Radio, Recording and recordkeeping requirements, Television.

47 CFR Part 76

    Cable television, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.


[[Page 11412]]


Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary.

Final Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission amends 47 CFR parts 73 and 76 as follows:

PART 73--RADIO BROADCAST SERVICES

0
1. The authority citation for part 73 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 47.U.S.C. 154, 303, 307, and 554.


Sec.  73.1202   [Removed and Reserved].

0
2. Section 73.1202 is removed and reserved.

0
3. Section 73.3526 is amended by revising paragraphs (b)(1) and 
(b)(2)(i) and removing and reserving paragraph (e)(9),
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  73.3526   Local public inspection file of commercial stations.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) For radio licensees temporarily exempt from the online public 
file hosted by the Commission, as discussed in paragraph (b)(2) of this 
section, a hard copy of the public inspection file shall be maintained 
at the main studio of the station, unless the licensee elects 
voluntarily to place the file online as discussed in paragraph (b)(2) 
of this section. An applicant for a new station or change of community 
shall maintain its file at an accessible place in the proposed 
community of license or at its proposed main studio.
    (2)(i) A television station licensee or applicant, and any radio 
station licensee or applicant not temporarily exempt as described in 
this paragraph, shall place the contents required by paragraph (e) of 
this section of its public inspection file in the online public file 
hosted by the Commission, with the exception of the political file as 
required by paragraph (e)(6) of this section, as discussed in paragraph 
(b)(3) of this section. Any radio station not in the top 50 Nielsen 
Audio markets, and any radio station with fewer than five full-time 
employees, shall continue to retain the public inspection file at the 
station in the manner discussed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section 
until March 1, 2018. However, any radio station that is not required to 
place its public inspection file in the online public file hosted by 
the Commission before March 1, 2018 may choose to do so, instead of 
retaining the public inspection file at the station in the manner 
discussed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.
* * * * *

PART 76--MULTICHANNEL VIDEO AND CABLE TELVISION SERVICE

0
4. The authority citation for part 76 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 153, 154, 301, 302, 302a, 303, 
303a, 307, 308, 309, 312, 315, 317, 325, 339, 340, 341, 503, 521, 
522, 531, 532, 534, 535, 536, 537, 543, 544, 544a, 545, 548, 549, 
552, 554, 556, 558, 560, 561, 571, 572, 573.


0
5. Section 76.5 is amended by revising paragraph (pp)(2) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  76.5   Definitions.

* * * * *
    (pp) * * *
    (2) In the case of a cable system with more than one headend, the 
principal headend designated by the cable operator, except that such 
designation shall not undermine or evade the requirements of subpart D 
of this part. Each cable system must provide information regarding the 
designation and location of the principal headend to the Commission 
promptly upon request. Except for good cause, an operator may not 
change its choice of principal headend. Cable systems may elect 
voluntarily to provide the location of the principal headend in the 
Commission's online public inspection file database and may choose 
whether to make this information accessible only by the Commission or 
to also make it publicly available. Systems that elect not to provide 
this information in the online file, or to protect this information in 
the online file from public view, must make it available to broadcast 
television stations and local franchisors upon request. If a request is 
submitted by a television station or franchisor in writing by certified 
mail, cable systems must respond in writing by certified mail within 15 
calendar days. Cable systems may in addition elect to respond to 
requests from these entities submitted by telephone or email, but must 
respond in writing by certified mail if requested to do so by the 
station or franchisor.
* * * * *

0
6. Section 76.1700 is amended by revising paragraph (a) introductory 
text, removing paragraph (a)(6), and redesignating (a)(7) through (10) 
as (a)(6) through (9), respectively.
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  76.1700  Records to be maintained by cable system operators.

    (a) Public inspection file. The following records must be placed in 
the online public file hosted by the Commission, except as indicated in 
paragraph (d) of this section and except that the records listed in 
paragraph (a)(1) of this section (political file) that are in existence 
30 days after the effective date of this provision, if not placed in 
the online file, shall continue to be retained at the system and made 
available to the public in the manner discussed in paragraph (e) of 
this section until the end of the retention period. In addition, any 
cable system with fewer than 5,000 subscribers shall continue to retain 
the political file at the system in the manner discussed in paragraph 
(e) of this section until March 1, 2018. For these systems, effective 
March 1, 2018, any new political file material shall be placed in the 
online file hosted by the Commission, while the material in the 
political file as of March 1, 2018, if not placed in the Commission's 
online public file, shall continue to be retained at the system in the 
manner discussed in paragraph (e) of this section until the end of its 
retention period. However, any system that is not required to place its 
political file in the Commission's online public file before March 1, 
2018 may choose to do so, instead of retaining the political file at 
the system in the manner discussed in paragraph (e) of this section.
* * * * *


Sec.  76.1708   [Removed and Reserved].

0
7. Section 76.1708 is removed and reserved.

[FR Doc. 2017-03465 Filed 2-22-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P