FCC annual regulatory fee deadline approaches for space licensees

Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells

FCC satellite or earth station authorization holders must pay annual regulatory fees by September 20 if the satellite was authorized and operational on or before October 1, 2022 or the earth station was authorized on or before October 1, 2022.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the fiscal year (FY) 2023 annual regulatory fee amounts. Fees are due if your satellite (system) was authorized and operational on or before October 1, 2022 or if your earth station was authorized on or before October 1, 2022.

What are regulatory fees?

Congress requires the FCC to assess fees annually to cover the agency’s expenses. Regulatory fees recover the FCC’s direct costs, such as salaries and expenses; indirect costs, such as overhead functions; and support costs, such as rent, utilities, and equipment. The FCC calculates regulatory fees based on the time required for an FCC bureau or office to oversee and regulate fee payors.

Who pays regulatory fees?

FCC-regulated entities must pay regulatory fees. Such entities include satellite and earth station licensees, commercial wireless service providers, cable and direct broadcast providers, interstate telecommunications service providers, international licensees, and media services licensees.

What are the fee amounts for satellite and earth station operators?

The following table captures the FY2023 satellite and earth station regulatory fees.

Fee Category

Annual Regulatory Fee ($USD)

Earth Station


Geostationary Space Station Satellite


Standard Non-Geostationary Space Station System


Less Complex Non-Geostationary Space Station System

(with 20 or fewer planned earth stations)


Streamlined Smallsat Non-Geostationary Space Station System


How do I pay?

Licensees can pay via credit/debit card, wire transfer, or ACH transfer using the Commission Registration System (CORES). Payments are due September 20. The FCC has also released payment guides with detailed instructions to help fee payors submit payments correctly and on time. Additional information is available on the FCC’s Regulatory Fees page.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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