WASHINGTON, D.C.—The FCC will soon decide whether to eliminate requiring broadcasters to keep paper back-up files of their public inspection files. While that move generally is popular in the radio and TV broadcast industry, some lawmakers also want the FCC to require that these documents are machine-readable. Broadcasters say that requirement would create unwelcome complications.

Womble Carlyle Telecom attorney John Garziglia discussed the proposal with Radio + Television Business Report. He said many documents still are submitted in a handwritten form, meaning they may not be machine-readable.

“The local public file document that is most often prepared in a handwritten form is the Annual EEO Public File Report although I have also seen issues/programs lists and many political contracts prepared in handwriting,” Garziglia said. “A mandated change to require machine-readable documents in the local public file would require that each of these documents be prepared on a computer, or if prepared in a handwritten form, to be transcribed into a computer-generated document prior to being uploaded in PDF to the FCC’s website. This could be a significant burden without a compensatory public interest benefit.”

Click here to read the full article, “A New Public File Hassle?” in Radio + Television Business Report (subscription required).

John Garziglia represents radio and television broadcasters, offering personalized assistance in all areas of communications and telecommunications law including transactional and contract negotiations for broadcast station mergers and acquisitions, the securing of financing, governmental auctions of new frequencies, license renewals, new stations applications, facility changes, facility upgrades, licensing, and compliance with FCC rules, regulations and policies.


Follow John Garziglia on Twitter at @JohnGarziglia.