Death, taxes … and FCC annual regulatory fees. Its that time of year again and the FCC has issued its latest annual Notice of Proposed Rulemaking containing regulatory fee proposals for Fiscal Year 2010. Those who wish to file comments on the FCC’s proposed fees must do so by May 4, 2010 with reply comments due by May 11, 2010.
For one of the few times in recent history, the annual fee amount the FCC is proposing to collect is actually less than the amount from a previous year. Consistent with this, and with a few exceptions, most of this year’s fees are the same or less than last year’s fees for all AM, FM, and television stations, as are the fee amounts for LPTV, Class A, translator, booster, and broadcast auxiliary licenses.
One big change in this year’s fee proposals is the elimination of the exemption for digital stations to pay fees now that the DTV transition has ended. Going forward, all digital full-service television stations will be required to pay a full license fee, including those stations that were operating pursuant to digital Special Temporary Authority as of October 1, 2009. It is also important to point out that the Commission is proposing to charge only a single fee for each low power or Class A facility simulcasting in both digital and analog.
The Communications Section will shortly be publishing a full Advisory on the proposed Reg Fees, including fee tables and charts for you to use to calculate your payments that will be due later this year.