FCC Adopts FY2005 Regulatory Fee Schedule
The FCC released its annual Report and Order ("Order") late last week containing the revised schedule of regulatory fees for fiscal year ("FY") 2005. Congress mandated that the FCC collect $280 million in regulatory fees for FY 2005, which exceeds the previous year’s requirements by $7 million. With some minor adjustments, the Commission has prorated the required increase (approximately 2.6 percent) across all services, although some fees (e.g., broadcast construction permits) are actually less than they were last year. No regulatory fees are due for AM Expanded Band stations or digital TV stations, regardless of whether they are paired or digital-only facilities. These exemptions will likely disappear within the next few years.
The FCC has not yet announced the due date for regulatory fees, although it will likely be in August or September. Any late fees will be assessed a 25 percent penalty. Additionally, licensees who have not paid their regulatory fees are now subject to the Commission’s “red light” procedures, in which the Commission will not act on any other application filed by the licensee until all past due fees have been paid in full. Other sanctions and charges are also possible for nonpayment of regulatory fees, including proceedings to revoke all FCC licenses held by delinquent payers.
1. FM and AM radio
The Commission’s annual radio fees continue to differentiate between stations based on class of station and population served within each station's protected service area. Since 1998, the FCC has divided broadcast station regulatory fees by class of service, population, and type of service. A summary of the regulatory fees is shown below. However, this is not a complete list of all regulatory fees due for all FCC-licensed services. Fee information for specific stations can be obtained from us or online from the FCC at http://www.fcc.gov/fees/regfees.html.
Radio Station Regulatory Fees
A, B1 & C3
B, C, C0, C1 & C2
|AM Construction Permits||$310 (2004 fee: $465)|
|FM Construction Permits||$550 (2004 fee: $1650)|
2. VHF commercial television
|Remaining Markets||$ 4,050||$ 4,625|
|Construction Permits||$ 4,650||$ 3,175|
3. UHF commercial television
|Markets 26-50||$ 9,300||$10,050|
|Markets 51-100||$ 5,550||$ 6,125|
|Remaining Markets||$ 1,650||$ 1,725|
|Construction Permits||$ 5,675||$ 1,725|
|4. Satellite TV Stations (all markets)||$1075 (2004 fee: $1050)|
|5. LPTV, TV Translator & TV Booster||$395 per license (2004 fee: $385)|
|6. Broadcast Auxiliary Stations||$10 per license (NO CHANGE)|
B. Cable Services
|1. Cable Television Systems||72¢ per subscriber (2004 fee: 70¢)|
|2. Cable Antenna Relay Service (CARS)||$155 per call sign (2004 fee: $135)|
C. Wireless Services
1. CMRS Mobile/Cellular Services
All commercial mobile radio services (CMRS) are assessed a regulatory fee of 22¢ per unit (each mobile or cellular call sign or telephone number is considered a "unit"), down from 25¢ per unit last year. CMRS Mobile Services include the Cellular Radiotelephone Service, the Personal Communications Service (PCS), and the Specialized Mobile Radio Service (SMRS). For these licensees, regulatory fees will be based on subscriber counts shown in their Numbering Resource Utilization Forecast (NRUF) reports, subject to correction by the carriers.
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.
Microwave licensees will pay a $60 annual regulatory fee per year, payable for an entire ten-year license term at the time of application for a new, renewal or reinstatement license. Thus, the total regulatory fee due would be $600 for a ten-year license term.
4. Rural Radio (previously listed under the Land Mobile category)
Licensees for rural radio services (all stations not covered by CMRS or PMRS) will pay a $5 annual regulatory fee per license, payable for an entire ten-year license term at the time of application for a new, renewal or reinstatement license. Thus, the total regulatory fee due is $50 for a 10-year license term.
5. Broadband Radio Service (formerly MMDS/MDS)/Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS)
These licensees, which include the Educational Broadband Service (EBS) (formerly ITFS), will owe $255 per authorization. This is down from $270 per authorization in 2004.
D. International Services
|1. (Transmit) Earth Stations
(No fee for receive-only earth stations)
|$205 (2004 fee: $200)|
E. Procedures for payment of fees
Generally, a station's status as of Oct. 1, 2004, is the date for determining the fee due. There is no prorating of regulatory fees. In instances where a license or other FCC authorization is transferred or assigned after Oct. 1, 2004, the fee 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 (e.g., cable subscribers) are to be based on numbers as of Dec. 31, 2004.
The Commission highly recommends that entities submitting more than 25 fee payment Continuation Forms (Form 159C) pay regulatory fees online using the electronic fee filer program. Also, those who are paying $100,000 or more in regulatory fees must pay by check or wire transfer. The U.S. Treasury will not accept credit card payments exceeding $99,999.99 in a single day.
The Commission will continue to mail regulatory fee assessment cards to media service entities (radio, TV, and LPTV licensees and permittees) but not for broadcast auxiliary stations. Government entities, nonprofit entities under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code, and all noncommercial AM, FM, and TV licensees and permittees are exempt from paying regulatory fees. Regulatees whose total fee liability amounts to less than $10 are also exempt from fee payment obligations.
If you have any questions concerning the FCC's regulatory fees (including calculations or payment procedures), please contact us. The FCC’s regulatory fees are also available online at http://www.fcc.gov/fees/regfees.html.