REC Statement: The new administration and the FCC
Earlier today, President Joe Biden named FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel as Acting Chair of the Federal Communications Commission. Ms. Rosenworcel has been on the Commission for about 8 years and has about two years remaining in her term.
Of the five Commissioners in the previous administration, Jessica has been a champion for community radio and LPFM in the past as evidenced in part by her previous visits to LPFM stations and supportive statements made in previous LPFM proceedings. Currently, the Commission has reconsiderations pending on the practices that were followed by the previous administration on issues such as LP-250, LPFM directional antennas and the repeal of the FM anti-duplication rule. These are cases that we will be watching closely as we go into this year.
I very much look forward to working with her and her staff on the issues that affect spectrum access including community radio/LPFM.
Now that the election is over, the electoral votes are counted and the final senators from the election cycle sworn in, we are in a situation where getting the FCC out of its current 2-2 deadlock may happen real soon. We will always be vigilant to the future of the Rules in this 50-50 Democratic tie-breaker Senate. President Biden will have an opportunity (and a duty) to nominate a third Commissioner for the Majority. We look forward to hearing about the President’s choice and we hope the Minority does not try to hold up this appointment so Commission business can move forward.
Once we get a 3-2 Commission, we will hopefully see Net Neutrality get reinstated (and hopefully codified by Congress) and hopefully a reinstatement of the FM anti-duplication rule. It is REC’s position that LPFM needs more repair and hopefully we can influence some change without putting a future window in jeopardy.
For now, we are still on track for an NCE filing window later this year as well as a determination on the future of the “Franken FM”. While this is good news, we are still facing the impact on stations, large and low power, that the pandemic is causing.
For those who supported REC 2020, I thank you. We do have some good things happening in 2021. Stay tuned. Stay safe. Wear a mask! Lets make radio!
Michelle Bradley, CBT