FCC Considers Revising/Eliminating WWII-Era Antenna Site Requirements

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is exploring eliminating or revising certain decades-old rules applicable to television and FM radio antenna sites.

In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued in late October, the Commission has invited public comments on common antenna site rules originally issued in 1945, when television and FM radio were emerging technologies. At the time, the existing broadcasting infrastructure was extremely limited, and the focus was on conserving resources to support the U.S. involvement in World War II. This led the Commission to prohibit the grant or renewal of a license for a TV or FM station if the applicant or licensee was unwilling to make their antenna site available for use by other license holders.

In the nearly 75 years since then, the number of antenna sites suitable for broadcasting have increased dramatically. As a result, the Commission believes that these rules may no longer be necessary to promote competition and to ensure an adequate number of broadcast sources.

The text of the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is available at https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-19-106A1.pdf. Comments on the matter can be filed through the Commission’s electronic comment filing system at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/ until November 24th.

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