Summary: H.R.1674 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (09/24/1991)

Federal Communications Commission Authorization Act of 1991 - Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to: (1) authorize appropriations for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for FY 1992 and 1993; (2) extend the FCC's authorization to make grants to, or enter into agreements with, private nonprofit organizations to utilize the talents of older Americans in programs authorized for the FCC through FY 1993; and (3) conform the FCC's travel reimbursement program to provisions of the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 regarding the acceptance of travel and related expenses from non-Federal sources.

Establishes a Schedule of Regulatory Fees the FCC is required to assess and collect from the users regulated by FCC bureaus in order to recover the costs of user information services and enforcement, policy and rulemaking, and international activities, except in cases where the waiver of a fee would promote the public interest. Requires the FCC to adjust the amount of fee for a category or class of users to reflect an unexpected increase or decrease in the number of licensees or units. Exempts governmental and nonprofit tax exempt entities and Amateur Radio Service licensees from the payment of such fees. Requires FCC penalties for late payment of such fees.

Renames the Schedule of Charges as the Schedule of Application Fees and exempts volunteer personnel providing services to noncommercial radio and television stations licensed to nonprofit institutions from the payment of such fees. Adds to the Schedule of Application Fees specified fees for low-earth orbit satellite systems.

Authorizes the FCC to: (1) acquire and utilize technical equipment without compensation to the provider of the equipment pursuant to negotiated patent license agreements; (2) accept, hold, administer, and use unconditional gifts, donations, and bequests of real property and tangible personal property and short-term training incidental to the operation of donated equipment; (3) utilize the voluntary services of amateur radio organizations for the purpose of providing specialized, radio club, and military-recreation call signs; and (4) order refunds of excessive charges when common carrier charges are revised.

Directs the FCC to prescribe regulations denying equipment authorization under any part of the FCC's regulations for any scanning receiver that is capable of: (1) receiving transmissions in the frequencies allocated to the domestic cellular radio telecommunications service; (2) readily being altered by the user to receive transmissions in such frequencies; or (3) being equipped with decoders that convert digital cellular transmissions to analog voice audit. Bans the manufacture or importation of any scanning receiver having such capabilities.

Authorizes the FCC to permit the electronic filing of applications and signatures: (1) to waive claims to use of a particular frequency or of the electromagnetic spectrum; and (2) for a broadcast station construction permit.

Repeals provisions that require the operation of all broadcasting station transmitting apparatus by a person holding an operator's license (thus allowing the FCC to permit broadcasters to substitute automated technology for human operators).

Permits the FCC to keep confidential any contract, agreement, or arrangement between common carriers that would be exempted from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

Extends the time period for permitting licensee forfeitures in certain situations.

Directs the FCC to study and report to the Congress on the telephone surcharge and procedures for armed forces personnel in specified countries.