FCC Proposes All Filings Should be Made Electronically
|RADIO ONLINE | Friday, September 6, 2019|
This FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that continues to builds on its modernization efforts. The Commission has made significant strides in recent years toward modernizing its legacy filing, communications, and information retention systems by improving electronic access to data and digitizing communications. The NPRM proposes to make all filings to the Universal Licensing System (ULS) completely electronic, expand electronic filing and correspondence elements for related systems and require applicants to provide an e-mail address on the FCC Forms related to these systems.
The Notice item also seeks comment on additional rule changes that would further expand the use of electronic filing and electronic service. Together, these proposals will speed the remaining steps to transition these systems from paper to electronic, reducing regulatory burdens and environmental waste, and making interaction with these systems more accessible and efficient for those who rely on them.
The Commission now manages applications for all wireless radio licenses through the ULS. Other systems accept filings and work in tandem with the ULS: the Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) System, the Tower Construction Notification System (TCNS), and the Electronic Section 106 (E-106) System. Today, the majority of applications filed in the ULS are electronic, as required by its rules.
While the vast majority of ULS applications today are submitted electronically, some are still manually filed, largely from exempted filers. Last year, for example, the Commission received about 5,000 manually filed applications out of about 425,000 total applications. The agency is also seeking comment on whether its underlying assumptions about the ease of electronic filing for the previously exempted filers are valid.