FCC Adopts 2003 Regulatory Fee Schedule
The FCC released its annual Report and Order ("Order") last week containing the revised schedule of regulatory fees for fiscal year ("FY") 2003. Congress mandated that the FCC collect $269 million in regulatory fees for FY 2003, whichexceeds the previous year’s requirements by $50 million. With some minor adjustments, the Commission has prorated the required increase (approximately 23 percent) across all services. Regulatory fee payments will likely be due in September, although the exact date has not yet been determined.
1. FM and AM Radio
The Commission’s annual radio fees differentiate between stations based on class of station and population served within each station's protected service area. Since 1998, the FCC divided broadcast station regulatory fees by class of service, population, and type of service. Modifications to radio stations, increasing populations and a trend toward more powerful stations have prompted the Commission to modify the fees for this category. The population caps have been increased and an additional category has been added “greater than three million people”. Fee information for specific stations can be obtained from us or from the FCC.
|Population Served||AM Class A||AM Class B||AM Class C||AM Class D||FM Classes A, B1 & C3||FM Classes B, C, C0, C1 & C2|
AM Construction Permits: $455
FM Construction Permits: $1,850
2. VHF Commercial Television
3. UHF Commercial Television
4. LPTV, TV Translator & TV Booster: $365 per license (2002 = $320)
5. Broadcast Auxiliary Stations: $10 per license (NO CHANGE)
6. Multipoint Distribution Services: $265 per call sign (2001 = $450)
B. CABLE SERVICES
1. Cable Television Systems: 66¢ per subscriber (2002 = 53¢)
2. Cable Antenna Relay Service (CARS): $90 per call sign (2002 = $65)
C. WIRELESS SERVICES
1. CMRS Mobile Services (including Wireless Communications Services)
All commercial mobile radio services ("CMRS") are assessed a regulatory fee of 26¢ per unit (each mobile or cellular call sign or telephone number is considered a "unit"), up from 24¢ per unit last year. CMRS Mobile Services include: Specialized Mobile Radio Services, Personal Communications Services ("PCS"); Public Coast Stations; and Public Mobile Radio.
2. CMRS Messaging Services
CMRS messaging services (formerly "one-way paging" services) must pay a regulatory fee of 8¢ for each paging unit under the Commission's order. CMRS Messaging Services include Private Paging; qualifying interconnected Business Radio Services; 220-222 MHz Land Mobile Systems; Public Mobile One-Way Paging; PCS one-way and two-way paging; and 900 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio Services.
3. Microwave (includes Domestic Public Fixed Radio)
Microwave licensees will pay a $25 annual regulatory fee per, payable for an entire ten-year license term at the time of application for a new, renewal or reinstatement license. The total regulatory fee due is $100 for the 10-year license term.
4. Land Mobile
Licensees for land mobile radio services (all stations not covered by CMRS or PMRS) will pay a $5 annual regulatory fee per license, payable for an entire 10-year license term at the time of application for a new, renewal or reinstatement license. The total regulatory fee due is $50 for the 10-year license term.
D. INTERNATIONAL SERVICES
1. Earth Stations: $210 (2001 = $140)
- NO FEE FOR RECEIVE-ONLY EARTH STATIONS
E. PROCEDURES FOR PAYMENT OF FEES
Generally, a station's status as of Oct. 1, 2002, is the date for determining the fee due. In instances where a Media Service license or authorization is transferred or assigned after Oct. 1, 2002, and arrangements to pay have not been made between the two parties, the fee is still due and must be paid by the licensee or holder of the authorization on the date that the fee payment is due. However, all fees based on numbers of subscribers or units are to be based
on numbers as of Dec. 31, 2002.
The Commission highly recommends that entities submitting more 25 Continuation Forms (Form 159C) pay regulatory fees online using the electronic fee filer program.
The use of the FCC’s Federal Registration Number (FRN) is now mandatory for anyone doing business with the FCC, including those subject to regulatory fee payments.
Government entities, nonprofit entities under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code, and all noncommercial AM, FM, and TV licensees and permitees are exempt from paying regulatory fees and need not submit payment. Regulatees whose total fee liability amounts to less than $10 are also exempt from fee payment obligations.
The Commission has undertaken an initiative to mail regulatory fee assessment cards to media service entities (radio and television station licensees) with the exception of broad cast auxiliary station licensees. In the future the FCC is considering moving toward sending regulatory fee bill to entities including “e-billing” through the Internet.
If you have any questions concerning the FCC's regulatory fees (including payment procedures), please contact us.