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TAB Weighs in on Disaster Information Reporting Mandate

- FCC Terminates Longstanding Database

TAB is encouraging the FCC to remain flexible in how it collects reports for its Disaster Information Reporting System to ensure that local broadcasters are not forced to neglect their audiences and operations amidst an ongoing emergency.

DIRS reports have always been voluntary, but the commission is proposing to make them mandatory by adding broadcasters to the Wireless Resiliency Cooperative Framework which is designed for monitoring and maintaining common carrier network infrastructure – not a one-to-many content provider.

Because local broadcasters have a long history of cooperating in emergencies to share resources, facilities and equipment to ensure all stations can stay on the air delivering important information, mandatory DIRS filings would provide little actionable information to the FCC. 

Cluttering DIRS with mandatory station filings indicating all is fine would merely serve to distract from the voluntary filings made by stations that are actively seeking FCC assistance in obtaining fuel for generators or access for station employees to their stations and transmitter sites in a disaster area. 

The FCC should instead focus its efforts on promoting broadcast station resilience in emergencies by working with state, local, and other federal agencies prior to a disaster to ensure procedures and resources are in place so that a DIRS filing requesting fuel or help with employee access to a disaster area will lead to rapid governmental assistance to keep stations operating.

TAB’s comments were filed in conjunction with other state associations representing broadcasters throughout the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

View TAB’s comments on disaster information reporting mandate

FCC Terminates Consolidated Database System

The FCC last week abruptly announced the termination on Jan. 12 of its Consolidated Database System (CDBS) for filings at the commission.

The system had long been criticized for being “clunky” and difficult to use, but most bugs had been ironed out after many years of service, according to many attorneys who interface with the commission.

The FCC has moved filings from the CDBS to the Licensing Management System (LMS), despite its own history of challenges.

Broadcasters can anticipate challenges navigating LMS, but member stations can call TAB for assistance as needed through our free, members-only legal hotline.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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