Summary: S.1264 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (09/03/2003)

FCC Reauthorization Act of 2003 - (Sec. 2) Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to authorize appropriations for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for FY 2004 through 2008.

(Sec. 3) Directs the FCC to conduct for FY 2004 through 2007 a review of compliance by educational providers and libraries with Internet safety (blocking and filtering) policies required in order to receive discounted rates for telecommunications services, with particular emphasis on determining whether any fraud or abuse of Federal funds has occurred in connection with such activities or operations. Requires reports for each such fiscal year from the FCC to specified congressional committees.

(Sec. 4) Directs the FCC to review its broadcast ownership rules every four (currently, every two) years.

(Sec. 5) Increases: (1) civil penalties for the violation of broadcast license or regulatory requirements for broadcast and multichannel video providers, common telecommunications carriers, and others; and (2) the statute of limitations (from one to two years) with respect to such violations.

(Sec. 6) Mandates that Federal bankruptcy law shall not be applied in actions against broadcast licensees for license or regulatory violations.

(Sec. 7) Prohibits FCC members or employees from receiving travel reimbursement payments from nongovernmental sponsors.

(Sec. 8) Applies certain Federal post-employment restrictions to specified FCC positions or successor positions.

(Sec. 9) Directs the FCC to: (1) reinstate its video description rules; and (2) initiate a proceeding to consider whether it is economically and technically feasible and consistent with the public interest to include "accessible information" in such rules. Authorizes the FCC to amend, repeal, or otherwise modify such rules.

(Sec. 10) Requires the FCC to complete rulemakings by August 1, 2004, to: (1) provide specific guidance to affected parties as to what the FCC will consider an exercise of reasonable diligence in compliance with its political broadcasting regulations for radio and television broadcast stations and cable television system operators; and (2) establish procedures for the prompt filing, consideration, and resolution of complaints pertaining to violations of its regulations concerning political matter and issue advertising and of appeals therefrom.

(Sec. 11) Provides that if a violation of FCC special rules for broadcasting obscene or indecent matter involves broadcasts from more than one individual during the same program, the broadcast from each individual shall be considered a separate violation. Requires the FCC to commence a proceeding against an entity committing such a violation and to revoke such entity's station license or construction permit unless the FCC determines that such action would not be in the public interest.

(Sec. 12) Makes the current attribution discount permitted for UHF television stations inapplicable to any UHF station granted, transferred, or assigned after June 2, 2003, for purposes of calculating the aggregate national audience reach of a party. Terminates such discount for current UHF stations after December 31, 2007.

(Sec. 13) Directs the FCC to initiate a rulemaking to authorize the operation of digital television translators and digital on-channel repeaters.