| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 4870 (eh) To make technical corrections in patent, copyright, and trademark laws. [Engrossed in House] ...
H.R. 4870 (eh) To make technical corrections in patent, copyright, and trademark laws. [Engrossed in House] ...
Union Calendar No. 219 106th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 486 [Report No. 106-384] _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require the Federal Communications Commission to preserve low-power television stations that provide community broadcasting, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ October 14, 1999 Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed Union Calendar No. 219 106th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 486 [Report No. 106-384] To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require the Federal Communications Commission to preserve low-power television stations that provide community broadcasting, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES February 2, 1999 Mr. Norwood (for himself, Mr. Klink, Mr. Deal of Georgia, Mr. Oxley, Mr. Burr of North Carolina, Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Bishop, Mr. Condit, and Mr. Weygand) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Commerce October 14, 1999 Additional sponsors: Mr. Wamp, Mr. Whitfield, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Aderholt, Mr. Kennedy of Rhode Island, Mr. Forbes, Mr. Clement, Mr. Peterson of Minnesota, Mr. Holt, Mr. Smith of New Jersey, Mr. Oberstar, Mr. Duncan, Mr. Murtha, Ms. Carson, Mr. Foley, Mr. Sabo, Mr. Gillmor, Mr. Boucher, Mr. Jenkins, Mr. Buyer, Mrs. Cubin, Mr. Cramer, Mr. Luther, Mr. Wexler, Mr. Peterson of Pennsylvania, Mr. Minge, Mr. Moran of Kansas, Mr. Mascara, Mr. Largent, Mr. Houghton, Mr. Wicker, Mr. Kucinich, Mr. Conyers, Mr. Hutchinson, Mr. Filner, Mr. Isakson, Mr. Ryun of Kansas, Mr. Lucas of Oklahoma, Ms. Eshoo, Mr. Hoeffel, Mr. Hastings of Washington, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Mr. Blagojevich, Mr. Kind, Mr. Dickey, Mr. Gordon, Mr. Thornberry, Mr. Rush, Mr. Riley, Mr. Radanovich, Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, Ms. Slaughter, Mr. Gonzalez, Mr. Baker, Mr. Coburn, Mr. Coyne, Mr. Boehlert, Mrs. Bono, Mr. Thune, Mr. Tiahrt, Mr. Davis of Florida, Mr. Sweeney, Mr. Cooksey, Mr. Moore, Mr. Etheridge, Ms. Kaptur, Mr. Graham, Mr. Dooley of California, Mr. Scarborough, Mr. Turner, Mr. Bilbray, Mr. Davis of Illinois, Mr. Wynn, Mr. Hilliard, Mr. LoBiondo, Mr. Kanjorski, Mr. DeMint, Mr. Linder, Mr. Chambliss, Mr. Kingston, Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Ford, Mr. Herger, Mr. Pickering, Ms. Brown of Florida, Mr. John, Mr. Pomeroy, Mrs. Jones of Ohio, Mr. Regula, Mrs. Wilson, and Mr. Sawyer October 14, 1999 Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed [Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic] [For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on February 2, 1999] _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require the Federal Communications Commission to preserve low-power television stations that provide community broadcasting, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Community Broadcasters Protection Act of 1999''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. The Congress finds the following: (1) Since the creation of low-power television licenses by the Federal Communications Commission, a small number of license holders have operated their stations in a manner beneficial to the public good providing broadcasting to their communities that would not otherwise be available. (2) These low-power broadcasters have operated their stations in a manner consistent with the programming objectives and hours of operation of full-power broadcasters providing worthwhile services to their respective communities while under severe license limitations compared to their full-power counterparts. (3) License limitations, particularly the temporary nature of the license, have blocked many low-power broadcasters from having access to capital, and have severely hampered their ability to continue to provide quality broadcasting, programming, or improvements. (4) The passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 has added to the uncertainty of the future status of these stations by the lack of specific provisions regarding the permanency of their licenses, or their treatment during the transition to high definition, digital television. (5) It is in the public interest to promote diversity in television programming such as that currently provided by low- power television stations to foreign-language communities. SEC. 3. PRESERVATION OF LOW-POWER COMMUNITY TELEVISION BROADCASTING. Section 336 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 336) is amended-- (1) by redesignating subsections (f) and (g) as subsections (g) and (h), respectively; and (2) by inserting after subsection (e) the following new subsection: ``(f) Preservation of Low-Power Community Television Broadcasting.-- ``(1) Creation of class a licenses.-- ``(A) Rulemaking required.--Within 120 days after the date of enactment of the Community Broadcasters Protection Act of 1999, the Commission shall prescribe regulations to establish a class A television license to be available to licensees of qualifying low-power television stations. Such regulations shall provide that-- ``(i) the license shall be subject to the same license terms and renewal standards as the licenses for full-power television stations except as provided in this subsection; and ``(ii) each such class A licensee shall be accorded primary status as a television broadcaster as long as the station continues to meet the requirements for a qualifying low- power station in paragraph (2). ``(B) Notice to and certification by licensees.-- Within 30 days after the enactment of the Community Broadcasters Protection Act of 1999, the Commission shall send a notice to the licensees of all low-power televisions licenses that describes the requirements for class A designation. Within 60 days after such date of enactment, licensees intending to seek class A designation shall submit to the Commission a certification of eligibility based on the qualification requirements of this subsection. Absent a material deficiency, the Commission shall grant certification of eligibility to apply for class A status. ``(C) Application for and award of licenses.-- Consistent with the requirements set forth in paragraph (2)(A) of this subsection, a licensee may submit an application for class A designation under this paragraph within 30 days after final regulations are adopted pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph. Except as provided in paragraphs (6) and (7), the Commission shall, within 30 days after receipt of an application of a licensee of a qualifying low-power television station that is acceptable for filing, award such a class A television station license to such licensee. ``(D) Resolution of technical problems.--The Commission shall act to preserve the service area of each low-power television licensee pending the final resolution of the class A application of such licensee. If, after granting certification of eligibility for a class A license, technical problems arise requiring an engineering solution to a full-power station's allotted parameters or channel assignment in the digital television Table of Allotments, the Commission shall make such modifications, as necessary, to ensure replication of the full-power digital television applicant's service area, as provided for in section 73.622 of the Commission's regulations (47 CFR 73.622). ``(2) Qualifying low-power television stations.--For purposes of this subsection, a station is a qualifying low- power television station if-- ``(A)(i) during the 90 days preceding the date of enactment of the Community Broadcasters Protection Act of 1999-- ``(I) such station broadcast a minimum of 18 hours per day; ``(II) such station broadcast an average of at least 3 hours per week of programming that was produced within the market area served by such station, or the market area served by a group of commonly controlled low-power stations that carry common local programming produced within the market area served by such group; and ``(III) such station was in compliance with the Commission's requirements applicable to low-power television stations; and ``(ii) from and after the date of its application for a class A license, the station is in compliance with the Commission's operating rules for full-power television stations; or ``(B) the Commission determines that the public interest, convenience, and necessity would be served by treating the station as a qualifying low-power television station for purposes of this section, or for other reasons determined by the Commission. ``(3) Common ownership.--No low-power television station authorized as of the date of enactment of the Community Broadcasters Protection Act of 1999 shall be disqualified for a class A license based on common ownership with any other medium of mass communication. ``(4) Issuance of licenses for advanced television services to television translator stations and qualifying low-power television stations.--The Commission is not required to issue any additional license for advanced television services to the licensee of a class A television station under this subsection, or to any licensee of any television translator station, but shall accept a license application for such services proposing facilities that will not cause interference to the service area of any other broadcast facility applied for, protected, permitted, or authorized on the date of filing of the advanced television application. Such new license or the original license of the applicant shall be forfeited after the end of the digital television service transition period, as determined by the Commission. A licensee of a low-power television station or television translator station may, at the option of licensee, elect to convert to the provision of advanced television services on its analog channel, but shall not be required to convert to digital operation until the end of such transition period. ``(5) No preemption of section 337.--Nothing in this subsection preempts or otherwise affects section 337 of this Act. ``(6) Interim qualification.-- ``(A) Stations operating within certain bandwidth.--The Commission may not grant a class A license to a low-power television station for operation between 698 and 806 megahertz, but the Commission shall provide to low-power television stations assigned to and temporarily operating in that bandwidth the opportunity to meet the qualification requirements for a class A license. If such a qualified applicant for a class A license is assigned a channel within the core spectrum (as such term is defined in MM Docket 87-286, February 17, 1998), the Commission shall issue a class A license simultaneously with the assignment of such channel. ``(B) Certain channels off-limits.--The Commission may not grant under this subsection a class A license to a low-power television station operating on a channel within the core spectrum that includes any of the 175 additional channels referenced in paragraph 45 of its February 23, 1998, Memorandum Opinion and Order on Reconsideration of the Sixth Report and Order (MM Docket No. 87-268). Within 18 months after the date of enactment of the Community Broadcasters Protection Act of 1999, the Commission shall identify by channel, location, and applicable technical parameters those 175 channels. ``(7) No interference requirement.--The Commission may not grant a class A license, nor approve a modification of a class A license, unless the applicant or licensee shows that the class A station for which the license or modification is sought will not cause-- ``(A) interference within-- ``(i) the predicted Grade B contour (as of the date of enactment of the Community Broadcasters Protection Act of 1999, or November 1, 1999, whichever is later, or as proposed in a change application filed on or before such date) of any television station transmitting in analog format; or ``(ii)(I) the digital television service areas provided in the DTV Table of Allotments, (II) the areas protected in the Commission's digital television regulations (47 CFR 73.622 (e) and (f)), or (III) the digital television service areas of stations subsequently granted by the Commission prior to the filing of a
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