• FCC Radio Licenses: Saving Paper Doesn't Change Notice Requirements
  • November 8, 2014 | Author: James R. Hobson
  • Law Firm: Best Best & Krieger LLP - Washington Office
  • Many municipal governments and special districts, especially public safety departments, hold radio licenses or antenna structure permits from the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC is proposing to save paper and staff time by making the authorizations stored on agency databases “official” records.

    However, licensees would still be required to post paper copies where the rules call for it, or to notify tenants on communication towers that the facilities are duly registered.

    During a proposed transition period, licensees could opt out of continuing mail delivery of licenses. If the proposal to rely on electronic records is adopted, licensees wishing to continue to receive paper copies would then be asked to notify the FCC of that choice. Licensees no longer receiving paper copies could print from the official electronic record any documents they need to post.

    A selection of FCC regulations requiring notice or posting appears below. Licensees should be familiar with state or local paper record requirements that may differ from, or add to, the federal regulations.

    The FCC will accept public comment on its paper-saving proposals until Nov. 10. If you have questions about how this proposed policy change will affect your municipality or agency, or if you need assistance with commenting, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the Municipal Law practice group or your BB&K attorney.

    Title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 90, Subpart N

    §90.437 Posting station licenses.

    (a) The current original authorization for each station shall be retained as a permanent part of the station records but need not be posted.

    (b) Entities authorized under this part must make available either a clearly legible photocopy of the authorization for each base or fixed station at a fixed location at every control point of the station or an address or location where the current authorization may be found.

    (c) An applicant operating under temporary authority in accordance with §90.159 must post an executed copy of FCC Form 601 at every control point of the system or an address or location where the current executed copy may be found.

    §90.439 Inspection of stations.

    All stations and records of stations in these services shall be made available for inspection at any reasonable time and any time while the station is in operation upon reasonable request of an authorized representative of the Commission.

    §90.441 Inspection and maintenance of antenna structure marking and associated control equipment.

    The owner of each antenna structure required to be painted and/or illuminated under the provisions of Section 303(q) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, shall operate and maintain the antenna structure painting and lighting in accordance with part 17 of this chapter. In the event of default by the owner, each licensee or permittee shall be individually responsible for conforming to the requirements pertaining to antenna structure painting and lighting.

    §17.4 Antenna structure registration.

    (f) The Commission shall issue, to the registrant, FCC Form 854R, Antenna Structure Registration, which assigns a unique Antenna Structure Registration Number. The structure owner shall immediately provide a copy of Form 854R to each tenant licensee and permittee.

    §90.447 Retention of station records.

    Records required by this part shall be retained by the licensee for at least one year.