FCC Proposes Regulatory Fees for 2012

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The FCC just released its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish the regulatory fees to be paid by each of the entities that it regulates. Each year, before the FCC collects its annual regulatory fees from broadcasters and other entities subject to its oversight, it asks for comments on the amount of those fees. This year, as has been the case in most of the past few years, there are few changes proposed in this Notice, thought the Commission does promise to issue additional rulemakings later this year, looking to readjust fees to take into account changes in the communications industry since these fees were first imposed almost 20 years ago. Look, for instance, for a change to be proposed in the relative fees for UHF and VHF stations, which still reflect the analog world where VHF stations were more valuable.

But any fundamental changes in the fees won't be effective until 2013. Essentially, the NPRM proposes just minor changes in fees so that the FCC can collect its 2012 fees in September. The NPRM basically makes very small adjustments in the fees for broadcast stations, which are based on population coverage, to include numbers based on 2010 census data. The fees proposed for broadcasters are set out below. Comments on these proposals are due on May 31, with replies on June 7. The exact dates on which these fees will be collected will be announced after the conclusion of this rulemaking proceeding.

AM Radio Construction Permits

550

FM Radio Construction Permits

700

TV (47 CFR part 73) VHF Commercial

 

Markets 1-10

87,425

Markets 11-25

72,925

Markets 26-50

41,675

Markets 51-100

20,725

Remaining Markets

5,800

Construction Permits

5,800

TV (47 CFR part 73) UHF Commercial

 

Markets 1-10

34,650

Markets 11-25

31,950

Markets 26-50

21,875

Markets 51-100

12,625

Remaining Markets

3,425

Construction Permits

3,425

Satellite Television Stations (All Markets)

1,350

Construction Permits – Satellite Television Stations

890

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

385

Broadcast Auxiliaries (47 CFR part 74)

10

FY 2012 RADIO STATION REGULATORY FEES

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

<=25,000

$725

$600

$550

$625

$700

$875

25,001 – 75,000

$1,475

$1,225

$850

$950

$1,425

$1,550

75,001 – 150,000

$2,200

$1,525

$1,125

$1,600

$1,950

$2,875

150,001 – 500,000

$3,300

$2,600

$1,675

$1,900

$3,025

$3,750

500,001 – 1,200,000

$4,775

$3,975

$2,800

$3,175

$4,800

$5,525

1,200,001 – 3,000,00

$7,350

$6,100

$4,200

$5,075

$7,800

$8,850

>3,000,000

$8,825

$7,325

$5,325

$6,350

$9,950

$11,500