As we have previously advised, all full power and Class A TV stations are now required to upload their public inspection files to a dedicated FCC database created for this purpose. Although all new public file documents must be uploaded contemporaneously, stations will have six months or until February 2, 2013 to upload pre-existing public file documents (with the exception of the political file, as explained in our previous posting).
The FCC has now announced the availability of the public file interface for both station and public access. Specifically, TV stations may access the database for posting purposes here, while the public can access the database for the purpose of viewing stations' public files here.
All FCC applications and authorizations existing at the FCC in electronic form have been incorporated into each station's public file database and do not need to be separately uploaded. Also, once incorporated into the FCC public file database, the station no longer need keep a paper copy of the document in the local public file.
As a reminder, stations will need a Federal Registration Number (FRN) and passcode to access the public file for uploading purposes. Letters and emails from the public should not be uploaded to the FCC public file database for privacy purposes but should be retained in the local public file.
If successful, we would expect the FCC to apply this requirement to radio stations at a future date.
Originally posted on the Broadcast Law Blog.