The FCC today released its schedule for Regulatory Fees that will be paid in September of this year. The Order set the fees to be paid by entities regulated by the FCC, increasing those fees as required by Congress by approximately 7.5% over the fees paid last year. The fees to be paid by broadcasters are set forth below. Fees for all other services can be found in the appendix to the FCC’s Order setting the fees. The exact window for paying the fees has not yet been set, but should be announced later this month, in a public notice that will also provide more details on the filing process. The Order also contains a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, asking if the FCC should change the allocation of fees between the services regulated by the FCC. As to broadcasters specifically, the FCC asks if it should adopt fees for Digital Television, as the current FCC fees apply only to analog television. Comments on these issues will be due 30 days after this Order is published in the Federal Register.
In reaching its decision as to the fees for 2008, the FCC decided not to impose a fee on AM expanded band stations for the current fee cycle – but it will decide whether to do so after the FCC decides the issue raised in the pending Diversity proceeding as to whether to allow licensees to retain those AM stations if they are held by a small business entity.
Fees are paid based on the status of the station as of October 1, 2007 (so, for instance, if a station had received an upgrade in the interim, it pays based on its old facilities). However, the licensee who owns the station as of the date that fees are due is responsible for paying those fees, even if it did not own the station as of October 1, 2007. Fees for radio are set by a combination of the predicted population served by the station and the class of the station, while TV station’s fees are paid based on TV market size. Parties holding construction permits for new stations pay flat fees regardless of the area served by the proposed station, and there are also flat fees for broadcast auxiliaries, television stations that are authorized as satellites of other stations, and secondary broadcast stations (e.g. translators). Noncommercial operators are exempt from the fees. The fees for broadcasters can be seen by clicking on the "Continue Reading" link below.