FCC preps for action on broadcaster markets, phone numbers

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) open meeting this month is going to be a lot less high-profile than its last.

After a jam-packed February meeting that saw new net neutrality regulations and agency work to block a pair of state laws, the commission’s agenda for March will be a lot less closely watched.

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First up, the five-member commission is going to consider draft regulations that allow for changes to the makeup of a local TV broadcast station’s market, for the purposes of satellite programmers. That would allow a station to make sure that people with a satellite subscription who are just outside the current market boundary are able to get local news, sports and other information through their broadcast TV stations.

Those rules were called for in a law Congress passed last year that extended an expiring satellite TV license, and should eliminate a disparity that currently exists between cable and satellite providers.

Additionally, the FCC will consider rules to decide which company should serve as the next administrator of the national system that ensures people can keep their phone numbers when switching service providers. Earlier this week, the agency circulated a draft order to start negotiations with Telcordia to serve that role, known as the local number portability administrator.