The FCC today released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking asking for public comment on its proposed Regulatory Fees for 2010. These fees are paid annually by most commercial entities that are regulated by the FCC for the privilege of being regulated. Noncommercial broadcasters are exempt from the annual regulatory fees. Collectively, the FCC is proposing to collect over $335 million in fees this year from licensees across the various regulated services. The fees are normally paid in September, and the specific deadline for the payment of this year’s fees will be set by a future Order after the FCC has received comments on, and formally adopted, this proposed fee schedule. The FCC has set a short time for comments, with initial Comments on the proposed fees due by May 4, 2010, and Reply Comments due on May 11, 2010.

As in the past, the Regulatory Fees for broadcast stations are generally based on the Class of Service and the population covered by a station. For the most part, the fees proposed for 2010 for broadcast stations are not much different from the 2009 rates, with the fees for a few categories of television stations actually going down slightly. Additionally, there is no change in the fee proposed for LPTV, Class A, and television translator stations. The full list of proposed fees across the various categories of broadcast stations is provided below. A few things to note with respect to the fees with respect to digital television stations. The NPRM proposes to collect annual regulatory fees from all digital full-service television stations, including any that may have been operating pursuant to Special Temporary Authority (rather than a license) on October 1, 2009. With respect to low power and Class A television stations, the FCC has proposed that if a station is operating both an analog and a paired digital signal, then only a single regulatory fee will be assessed for the analog facility and no fee would be required for the digital companion channel.

Not surprisingly, the Commission has proposed to make the use of its electronic Fee Filer database for the submission of the annual regulatory feesmandatory again, as it was in 2009. It has also proposed that 2010 will be the last year that it will send out reminder letters to broadcast stations about the fees. Starting in 2011, the FCC is proposing to discontinue sending out media notification letters. As the payment deadline will be sometime in September, watch for an Order this Summer adopting the proposed fees, after folks have had a chance to comment.

AM Radio Construction Permits $420

FM Radio Construction Permits $630

 

TV (47 CFR part 73) VHF Commercial

Markets 1-10 $78,000

Markets 11-25 $60,525

Markets 26-50 $40,675

Markets 51-100 $22,725

Remaining Markets $5,875

Construction Permits $5,875

 

TV (47 CFR part 73) UHF Commercial

Markets 1-10 $25,300

Markets 11-25 $24,850

Markets 26-50 $13,750

Markets 51-100 $8,225

Remaining Markets $2,025

Construction Permits $2,025

 

Satellite Television Stations (All Markets) $1,250

Construction Permits – Satellite Television Stations $640

 

Low Power TV, Class A TV, TV/FM Translators & Boosters (47 CFR part 74) $400

Broadcast Auxiliaries (47 CFR part 74) $10

 

CARS (47 CFR part 78) $300

Cable Television Systems (per subscriber) (47 CFR part 76) $.86

Earth Stations (47 CFR part 25) $230

 

Click here to see table.