On August 10, 2023, the FCC released a Report and Order on the assessment and collection of regulatory fees for Fiscal Year (“FY”) 2023. The R&O adopts a schedule of regulatory fees to assess and collect $390,192,000 in regulatory fees for FY 2023. As proposed in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC has adopted its proposal to reallocate certain full time employees from the Media Bureau to other bureaus, thereby reducing the overall burden on broadcast regulatees.
The fees for media bureau licensees are as follows:
Radio: as it has done in the past, the FCC will impose fees on radio broadcasters utilizing a tiered fee structure. For FY 2023, the FCC has adopted a new fee tier for small AM and FM stations, those with a population below served 10,000. Accordingly, for FY 2023, the fees for radio broadcast stations are as follows:
Television: as it has done in the past, the FCC will utilize a population-based methodology to assess regulatory fees on full-power television stations. For FY 2023, the FCC will impose a factor of 0.7799 of one cent ($0.007799) per population served for FY 2023 full-power broadcast television station fees. The population data for broadcasters’ service areas will continue to be determined using the TVStudy software and LMS database based on a station’s projected noise-limited service contour. The population data for each station and the population-based fee is listed in Appendix G (which begins on page 73 of the above linked document).
Continuing Flexibility for Regulatory Fee Payors: The FCC has extended the COVID-19 relief adopted in 2020 to FY 2023. As you may recall, in 2020 the Commission adopted or modified several regulatory fee collection provisions to provide flexibility for regulatory payors whose businesses might have suffered financial harm due to the pandemic. The following flexible relief options are extended to FY 2023:
- Simplifying the filing requirements for waiver, reduction, and deferral requests for FY 2023 fees to ensure regulatees needing assistance are not precluded on procedural grounds. Additionally, direct requests may be submitted by email at: email@example.com.
- Allowing parties to temporarily request extended payment terms for FY 2023 regulatory fees by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Installment payment requests may be combined with waiver, reduction, and deferral requests in a single request.
- Reducing the rate the FCC charges on installment payments to a nominal rate and exercising its discretion to forego the down payment normally required before granting an installment payment request.
- Directing the Managing Director to work with individuals who have submitted financial documentation as proof of hardship that differs from documentation that the FCC has traditionally accepted to obtain additional documents that may be needed to render a decision.
- Waiving, in part, the red light rule to allow debtors that are experiencing financial hardship to nonetheless request relief with respect to their regulatory fees.
For more information on regulatory fees, visit http://www.fcc.gov/regfees.
The Order will become effective upon publication in the Federal Register.
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