Ajit Pai’s support of a free internet is bearing fruit. This has quietly been happening, but shows what a new leader can do.
FCC Chairman Pai has been working with broadcasters to get rid of pointless obligations or at least make it easier. The most dramatic is ending the requirement for every radio station* to maintain a staffed office during business hours to make available the Public Inspection File to anyone that wanders in. Unless the station is very odd, the only person who would ever do that is an FCC inspector asking in order to issue fines and justify their position.
The FCC dangled the carrot that the FCC would provide cloud storage for stations to upload their program logs, EEO reports and political advertising filings. The result is most of what anyone might want, including a contour map, application history and office address and phone number – all in one place.
To use this feature, the station must have a web site, and the web site must point a link to their page at the FCC as in
The FCC also previously required every station to have printed copies of an FCC publication called “The Public and Broadcasting” available to employees and visitors – that the FCC has now made available online here. This ended this self-serving requirement, now that we all have those Interwb Tubes to study it online. Note that the document has not been updated in 10 years.