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H.R. 4870 (eh) To make technical corrections in patent, copyright, and trademark laws. [Engrossed in House] ...


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                                                 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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